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University continues to reduce expenditures

Binghamton University continues to reduce expenditures as it deals with a total reduction of 11 percent in state operating funds for the 2008-2009 fiscal year. The most recent charge to SUNY to reduce its budget by an additional $96 million has resulted in an additional $4.2 million reduction being assigned to the Binghamton campus.

“We will use one-time funds to implement these reductions,” President Lois B. DeFleur said. “However, since the SUNY system has also taken some one-time actions for the current year, we will have to account for $5.7 million in permanent reductions in the next fiscal year.

“We are achieving savings through a hiring freeze, energy efficiencies and a reduction of purchases,” DeFleur said. “We continue to control vacancies and will eliminate some temporary positions, since personnel costs are the largest expenditure of state funds.”

With no legislative action taken on the state’s fiscal situation in its special session last month, the state’s challenges for the current and next fiscal year will be clearer after Gov. David Paterson submits his budget proposal on Dec. 16 and the Legislature returns to session in January.  

On Nov. 18, the SUNY Trustees approved the system’s 2009-10 budget proposal, requesting appropriate state support, as well as an increase in tuition which the trustees have directed campuses to begin charging for the spring 2009 semester.

Resident undergraduate tuition will rise $620 a year, bringing annual in-state tuition to $4,970; non-resident undergraduate tuition will increase $2,260 a year to $12,870 annually. Graduate student resident tuition will increase $960 a year to $7,880 annually, and annual graduate student non-resident tuition will rise $2,330 to $13,250.

“These increases — the first since 2003 — are needed by campuses in order to serve students,” DeFleur said.

The trustees indicated that they would like to see more frequent adjustments in tuition as part of a rational tuition policy. They also supported proposed legislation that would significantly reduce state regulation and administrative burdens on campuses, which would help campuses operate more effectively. 

Binghamton University and New York state are not alone in needing to find ways to deal with budget reductions. These challenges are affecting many other public universities across the nation. In California, for example, the universities and colleges are projecting reductions of about 10 percent. As a result, they are proposing to increase tuition and fees, as well as limiting admissions.

 “At Binghamton, we intend to keep our level of enrollment stable, even as we continue to receive a record number of applications from outstanding prospective students,” DeFleur said. “It is more and more difficult to turn them away.”

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Last Updated: 10/14/08