DePaul’s Board of Trustees approved a $583 million budget on Thursday, March 7, for fiscal year 2019-20 that helps DePaul further its Catholic, Vincentian mission and secure an academically vibrant and financially sustainable future for the university. The budget was unanimously recommended to the board by the Strategic Resource Allocation Committee, or SRAC, and DePaul’s president, A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D.
Under the 2019-20 budget, DePaul will continue to invest in employees. It includes a salary pool of 3 percent for full- and part-time faculty and staff – increased from 2.7 and 2.5 percent in previous years. At the same time, the university will maintain the current comprehensive employee benefits package.
In keeping with past years, the budget includes moderate tuition pricing increases for new and continuing students and a significant increase in the financial aid pool.
To help ensure DePaul’s unceasing commitment to its Vincentian mission is sustainable over the long term, SRAC recommended and the board approved an incentivized early retirement program for long-serving faculty and staff. This is a completely voluntary program that will provide the flexibility to prioritize and invest in academic programs and initiatives, enabling us to deliver on the promise of our mission going forward. More details will be shared soon with faculty and staff.
“My gratitude goes to the faculty, staff and student representatives of SRAC who exercised great care in forming budget recommendations that placed a priority on the continuing vitality of our Vincentian mission and our commitment to students,” says Esteban. “I also remain continually grateful for the constant dedication and hard work of all of DePaul’s faculty and staff. This budget recognizes your efforts and invests in the university’s future—while making sure students are supported with increased levels of financial aid.”
DePaul’s total student enrollment hit an all-time high in 2011 and has declined modestly each year since then. While net tuition revenue has been relatively stable, it is not sufficient to support the rising costs of providing a DePaul education.
“For several years, the university has trimmed expenses to align with revenue projections while simultaneously investing in strategies designed to remain competitive in pursuing enrollment growth goals,” says Jeff Bethke, executive vice president and chief financial officer. “Major cost-saving measures and strategic reductions enacted in past years have placed the university in a better long-term position to invest in strategic growth and reduced the need for large-scale reductions.” As a result, there are no plans for university-wide involuntary staff workforce reductions this coming spring in preparation for the new budget year.
To support a strong future for DePaul, the university will dedicate $4 million to replenish the fund to support revenue enhancement initiatives and strategic priorities. This includes additional funding for the popular Academic Growth and Innovation Fund
, which funded 11 new academic initiatives.
“DePaul’s long-term success requires strategic investments in our academic enterprise,” says Acting Provost Salma Ghanem. “The budget for 2019-20 continues that investment. The entire DePaul community will benefit from strong academic programs that meet our students’ needs.”
SRAC approved the budget recommendations on a unanimous vote. Voting members of SRAC were:
- Erin Berkowitz, Staff Council president
- Jeff Bethke, executive vice president and chief financial officer
- Salma Ghanem, acting provost
- Nahal Hashemian, Student Government Association president
- David Miller, dean, College of Computing and Digital Media
- Scott Paeth, Faculty Council president
- Sherri Sidler, vice president for finance and controller
- Michaela Winchatz, Faculty Council representative
- Paul Zionts, dean, College of Education