Enrollment, legislature secure additional funds for FY 2014 budget

An increase in enrollment and the recent legislative session in Texas proved profitable for the university in the 2014 fiscal year budget.

Faculty and staff will benefit the most from increased appropriations in the budget approved by the Texas State University System in August, according to official documents.

Overall, SHSU received a 9.4 percent increase in General Revenue Funds, which are the state’s primary operating fund that can be spent on faculty and staff salaries, infrastructure, student services, staff benefits and other operating costs. State tuition revenue, which the school projected a 6.3 percent increase in, and lab fees also go toward these operating costs.

The budget gives nearly $3.9 million to the various SHSU colleges to “(add) new faculty and budgeted merit increases for faculty and staff.”

The Colleges of Sciences (15 percent increase), Business Administration (8 percent), Education (5.6 percent), and Fine Arts and Mass Communication (31.5 percent) got the largest appropriation increases.

The LEMIT and CMIT programs also received a significant increase in appropriations with the anticipated move to a different location receiving a cumulative $2 million increase in appropriations this year.

Designated funds rose 1.5 percent overall, an additional $1.5 million for the university. This, according to the budget, was because of the five percent overall increase in enrollment.

The extra appropriations in designated funds primarily went to academic departments and paying off extra debt requirements for The Woodlands campus.

Auxiliary funds increased by $6 million, or 11.7 percent, compared to FY 2013 primarily due to enrollment increases and new fees. These funds are typically gathered from line item fees that lie outside the university’s primary goal of education like athletic, student center, student service, and medical service fees.

The two biggest Auxiliary Fund increases were in Medical Service and Lowman Student Center Fees by 81 and 61 percent respectively. This is due to not only enrollment increases but also the student-approved fee increases to build the student center expansion and new student health and counseling center.

Most of the programs funded by Auxiliary Funds received funds again with little or no change. However, housing and dining rates are expected to increase also due to increased enrollment and increased dining fees. In addition, monies collected from crimes are expected to increase from $1.3 million to $1.45 million over the year.

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