Board of Trustees Approves Budget for 2017-18 Fiscal Year

St. Vincent's Circle
(DePaul University/Jamie Moncrief)
DePaul's Board of Trustees approved a $599 million budget at its March meeting.  
 
The budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year reflects a unanimous recommendation from the university's Strategic Resource Allocation Committee to invest in talent and programs that position DePaul for future growth while also reducing university expenses.
 
"Like many universities throughout the country, DePaul faces declines in enrollment in some academic areas," says Jeff Bethke, executive vice president and SRAC chair. "Fortunately, however, we are better positioned than many who face challenges brought on by regional demographic trends affecting the size and profile of the prospective student market and cuts in state funding." 
 
"Being located in the learning lab that is Chicago and offering such strong academic programs serve us well," he continues. "We are continuing to invest in our academic programs, however, as market demand and enrollment in some programs decline, we must adjust expenses accordingly to keep expenses in line with tuition revenues."
 
The following budget measures will go into effect during the 2017-18 fiscal year:
 
  • A 2.5 percent merit pool increase will be available to supervisors on Jan. 1, 2018, to provide discretionary increases for eligible full- and part-time faculty, staff and students. 
  • Wages will increase to a minimum of $11.00 per hour. This wage increase primarily benefits student employees.
  • The match of employees' 403(b) contributions will increase from 9 to 9.5 percent.
  • The university will enhance paid maternity leave by adding two additional weeks of pay and providing two weeks of paid paternity leave.
  • Part-time staff will have access to a tuition waiver that matches the tuition waiver currently offered to adjunct faculty.
  • Tuition will increase by 2.5 percent for continuing undergraduate students. Institutional financial aid will increase nearly 4 percent over the previous year's budget to $203 million to address affordability challenges while supporting enrollment goals.
In addition, the budget ensures protection for Monetary Award Program funding through the next academic year. MAP provides state-funded grants to low-income Illinois students, including 5,000 at DePaul. 
 
The 2017-18 budget includes expense reductions in select areas to respond to enrollment declines in some schools or colleges.
 
In fiscal year 2017, total university enrollment declined 2 percent from the prior year. Recent trends also suggest enrollment and revenue declines in some programs for the next fiscal year.
 
While the projected declines are modest compared to those experienced by many universities, they are significant enough to affect current year revenues in a meaningful way. University departments are using different methods to achieve the reductions.
 
"Rather than take a 'one-size-fits-all' approach to the budget adjustments, we have entrusted schools, colleges and units throughout DePaul to look for ways to trim budgets in a way that makes sense with how they operate," Bethke says. 
 
SRAC recommended a proposed budget in November that the Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., president, accepted in full. The board's finance committee approved the recommendation in December and sent it to the full board for consideration. The final budget approved last week by the full board will take effect on July 1, 2017. 
 
Voting members of SRAC for 2016-17 were:
 
  • Jeff Bethke, executive vice president and SRAC chair
  • Marten denBoer, provost
  • Sherri Sidler, controller
  • David Miller, dean, College of Computing and Digital Media
  • Salma Ghanem, dean, College of Communication
  • Bamshad Mobasher, Faculty Council president
  • Tom Mondschean, Faculty Council representative
  • Charles Snelling, Staff Council president
  • Richard Popp, Student Government Association president