'Choices & Responsibility,' infrastructure seen as high
priorities for 1997-98 budget

The 1997-98 Basic Educational and General Budget of $306,760,859, which was approved by the Board of Trustees on Feb. 14, will help fund academic and support unit activities arising from Choices and Responsibility, support for core programs, enhancements and new initiatives in the schools and service units, and improvements to the University's infrastructure.

President Bill Chace said, "This budget, approved by the Board in a manner that fully appreciates both our current and future fiscal capabilities, is a strong reinforcement of our present planning and a reassuring affirmation of our hopes and aspirations."

The $306 million budget provides an increase in revenue of $21.8 million, a 7.7 percent increase over the 1996-97 budget. Tuition and fees, which account for more than 60 percent of the University's total revenues in the Educational and General Budget, are projected to increase overall by approximately 5 percent. Revenue from endowment income will increase $9 million, or 31 percent over the prior year. Income from sponsored research will increase $1.3 million, or approximately 4 percent. Endowment income and indirect cost recovery on sponsored research comprise 18 percent and 11 percent, respectively, of total revenue. Other projected sources of income will remain relatively stable for the next year.

Tuition increases ranged from 5 percent for undergraduates in Emory College and the business school to 8.7 percent for first-year law school students. Law school tuition remains fixed over the three-year program. Tuition in almost all of the academic units remained at the lower end of rates charged by peer institutions.

In keeping with past years, this budget increases scholarships in proportion to tuition increases. Scholarship and fellowship support will increase by 5 percent, or $2.6 million, for a total of $53.9 million.

Salaries and fringe benefits account for 61 percent of annual expenditures, or $186.5 million, with scholarship and fellowship expenditures comprising 18 percent of total educational and general expenditures. The remaining 21 percent of total expenditures includes utility costs, equipment, library, supply, travel and other miscellaneous expenses. The pool for faculty and staff salary increases will be 4 percent, and the cost of fringe benefits will remain at 24 percent, the same as for the 1996-97 budget year.

Academic programs will receive an additional $12.9 million in direct support. All schools will post an increase over 1996-97 except the law school, where the small decrease reflects a planned reduction in enrollment for the school. The Rollins School of Public Health budget is 14 percent larger than in 1996-97, owing primarily to a projected 40 percent growth in tuition revenues resulting from enrollment increases and changes in the tuition structure. Increased funding for the schools will support teaching and curricular innovation, interdisciplinary scholarship and other measures called for in Choices and Responsibility. The increased funding will also support the appointment of additional faculty and department chairs in several schools; Arts and Sciences programs such as Science 2000; stipend increases in the Graduate School; joint programs between schools; and development of core facilities in biomedical areas.

Support units will receive an additional $8.9 million to fund salary increases for staff, utilities expense and other basic operating costs in Campus Life, Institutional Advancement, Facilities Management, Woodruff Library, Information Technology and Academic Services. Enhancement funding will support improvements to the University's technological and administrative infrastructure, expansion and inflationary costs of library collections and support for additional costs of maintaining new buildings. The budget provides additional support for International Affairs and research in new and expanding programs such as the Offices of the Vice President for Research, the Executive Vice President for Health Affairs and Patent and Licensing.

Information Technology and Woodruff Library expenditures include additional funding for the establishment of the Information Commons area in the Woodruff Library addition. The Information Commons will be an open user area for faculty and students with computer workstations and technical staff support. It will be of major assistance to faculty and staff in accessing and analyzing information collaboratively.

"Recent growth in the University's endowment also created additional capacity in the Woodruff Fund," said Edie Murphree, associate vice president for administration. This additional capacity will be used to fund a variety of initiatives that will enhance academic programs, including increased support for the Center for Teaching and Curriculum, additional Woodruff professors, landscaping improvements that may arise from the campus master planning process, construction and renovation of buildings and other initiatives called for in Choices and Responsibility.

In addition to approving the Basic Educational and General Budget, the Board of Trustees approved a .75 percent capital matching program for the construction of new buildings. Projects currently under discussion include the Science 2000 initiative for chemistry and physics, the performing arts center, new medical research and education buildings, a nursing school building, Candler Library renovation and smaller projects. The matching program is projected to continue through the year 2002.

"The 1997-98 operating budgets will permit us to continue the process of building the quality and depth of Emory's programs and forward the implementation of the Choices and Responsibility agenda, while keeping our long-standing commitment of keeping costs to students and their families as low as possible." Murphree said.
-Stacey Jones

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