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Fiscal Year 2001 Budget Presented to the Community

On April 19th, Director of Budget and Planning, Steven Weinberg, presented the proposed Fiscal Year 2001 operating budget to the Teachers College community. This session was one of a series to get feedback from faculty, staff and Trustees before a final presentation of the budget to the Trustees in May.

The proposed budget maintains existing programs and levels of service currently enjoyed at Teachers College, while making modest investments into new and existing programs, some of which will generate new revenue streams for the College.

Total operating expenses of the FY 2001 budget are projected at $78.8 million, a 7.2 percent increase over the FY 2000 budget. It is also the 7th consecutive balanced budget. But as Vice President of Finance and Administration, Fred Schnur, explained, "this budget may be the last one with breathing room since there is a limit to tuition rate increases.

Absent other sources of revenue, the College will be challenged in the future to maintain existing programs and services and make strategic new investments."

The FY 2001 budget proposes a tuition increase in the amount of $35 to $705 per credit, or 5.2 percent. Student fees will increase by $9 to $170. Currently, 74 percent of the budget comes from tuition and fees. Along with additional revenue derived from grants, the annual fund, investment returns and auxiliary operations, the FY 2001 budget anticipates almost $5 million of incremental revenue. This revenue will fund a 4 percent salary increase and investments into the expansion of distance learning, conflict resolution and TESOL certificate programs.

Other priorities include funding for additional financial aid, an Educational Technology Specialist in support of initiatives for distance learning and campus-based courses, additional support to meet the special needs of students with disabilities, the enhancement of TC Record's Web development and delivery, compliance with New York State, Middle States and other professional associations' mandates and reviews and the creation of a new office that addresses diversity issues facing the College.

A major disappointment of the FY 2001 budget were constraints that prevented a further reduction of the College's cumulative deficit that was incurred prior to FY 1994. Weinberg noted, "this is the first budget in the past six years that did not include funding for deficit reduction. We have committed to our Trustees that by FY 2004, the College would completely eradicate its accumulated deficit which totaled over $4 million for the period ending April 30, 1994. Prior year budget results have successfully reduced the deficit to $700,000. Vice President Schnur added, "budget constraints also prevented the College from increasing repair and renovation expenditures."

The proposed FY 2001 operating budget was endorsed by the Trustee Business and Finance Committee on April 12th and was presented to the faculty and the Trustees for approval at their respective May meetings.

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