Dear Members of the Campus Community,
The 2009-2010 fiscal year operating budget has been updated and adjusted with current information, including enrollment, institutional financial aid, non-endowment interest income and salary expenses. The result of these changes is a "working" operating budget that remains balanced as of this point in the fiscal year.
Details on these key operating budget factors are provided below:
1. The original budget target for undergraduate tuition revenue was not changed despite slightly lower than expected census date (October 15) enrollment. This target was left unchanged due to an aggressive strategy to attract an additional 50 undergraduate students at mid-year.
2. Although enrollment in several programs is lower than in the past, overall net income projected from adult and graduate programs was not changed. The diversified mix of adult and graduate programs offered by Saint Mary's, along with a $300,000 contingency fund, should allow the overall net revenue target to be met despite some projected shortfalls in specific programs.
3. The non-athletic institutional financial aid budget was increased by $605,000 to reflect the projected impact of the recession on the College's students and their families.
4. The athletic institutional financial aid (grants-in-aid) budget target was reduced by $12,000 to reflect actual aid awarded to student athletes.
5. Interest income from non-endowment sources has been increased by $188,000 to reflect current cash flow and interest rate trends.
6. Overall staff salary pool levels were reduced by $205,000 to reflect savings based due to timing for filling several specific positions.
7. As a result of the adjustments noted above, the College's overall net income target was reduced from $202,000 to $2,000.
It does not appear, at this time, that operating budget reductions will be required for this year; however, the working operating budget may be further modified as revenue and expense trends develop during the balance of the 2009-2010 fiscal year. The next likely point in time to review and possibly modify the working budget will be in February 2010. I will provide an update at that point in time, or sooner if necessary.
In a promising development the market value of the College's endowment has grown by $7.5 million since June 30, 2009 to a total of $116.4 million as of September 30, 2009. In addition, weekly interest rates on the College's long-term debt have remained at historic lows and have offered clear evidence that the College's change in credit rating by Moody's Investors Inc. has not negatively impacted the remarketing of the College's variable rate demand bonds. Finally, the College's Budget Committee has been meeting since September and will be providing advice and recommendations on operating budget assumptions and projections for fiscal year 2010-2011 and beyond. These insights will inform the final budget assumptions and projections for fiscal year 2010-2011 that are expected to be finalized by the President and adopted by the Board of Trustees in late January 2010.
Peter A. Michell
Vice President for Finance