Campus News

April 19, 2010

Board approves FY11 budget

At its April 8 meeting the Board of Trustees approved the University’s fiscal year 2011 budget, which is designed to invest in people and programs that will advance Emory’s vision and strategic priorities albeit within a reduced resource envelope as the national economy continues its slow-paced recovery.

When combined with other University resources and with Emory Healthcare’s budget, total operating funds will show a very modest increase from this year, amounting to an estimated $3.2 billion for the new fiscal year beginning Sept. 1.

Although Emory’s unrestricted operating budget reflects 6.5 percent growth ($45 million) in fiscal year 2011 — as a result of modest tuition and admission increases and one-time funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act — the increasing need for financial aid support and research infrastructure investment effectively offsets much of this revenue growth, resulting in an actual modest 2 percent growth rate, comparable with last year.

For the past academic year the Emory community has worked to implement expense reductions and to encourage new and enhanced revenue streams.

“Thanks to an enormous commitment on behalf of the Emory community, we have developed and implemented strategic budget plans that are committed to excellence, have the wisdom of collective engagement and create a sustainable model for the future,” says President Jim Wagner.  “Emory will continue to direct fuller funding to fewer activities so that we focus on the essentials and on the areas of excellence that will continue to place the University in a position of strength well into the future.”

Specific budget priorities include faculty recruitment within individual schools, substantial investments in undergraduate financial aid, support for graduate and professional students and investment in research infrastructure support.

As with last year’s budget, the University has made a substantial increase in financial support for current and potential students, many of whom need enhanced financial assistance due to changing family situations as a result of the national economic downturn.

A modest merit salary program has been included in the FY11 budget that will be used strategically to reward the best and highest performers within the organization following criteria established by the president and executive vice presidents with assistance from Human Resources.

Noting the University’s investment in recruiting and retaining top faculty, students and staff, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Earl Lewis says that, “University leaders will continue to work in partnership with faculty and others to develop and implement new economic models and new resource streams that will advance and sustain our aspirations now and into the future.

“The continued success of our philanthropic activities and the comprehensive campaign — particularly the recently launched ‘My Emory’ employee component — is dependent on the effectiveness of our shared vision and collaborative initiatives.”

Even with recent positive indicators — a modest growth in the University’s unrestricted operating budget and signs of recovery in the world economy — all research universities, particularly those with health care complexes, continue to face significant challenges.

“The federal economic stimulus package has benefited the University through additional support in several research areas, but that funding will evaporate within the next two years,” says Fred Sanfilippo, executive vice president for health affairs and CEO, Woodruff Health Sciences Center.

“We also continue to monitor the impact of potential hospital/provider tax action at the state level, and are evaluating the implications of health care reform on the School of Medicine and on our health care system.”

University endowments will likely take a decade or more to recover from the low point in March of 2009 barring no further severe market downturns. “When we say ‘recover’ we need to keep in mind that it means we will be making our way back to the level we were at when the market took a historical downturn in 2008,” says Mike Mandl, executive vice president for finance and administration.

“This means we need to renew our efforts to identify new resource opportunities. The Emory community has a wonderful creative, entrepreneurial spirit that has been very apparent over the past two years, and I anticipate it will flourish even more so as we form new collaborations to achieve our common goals.” 

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