Campus leaders will host a virtual Budget Forum on Thursday, Oct. 15, from 1 – 3 p.m., to provide an update on the College’s financial situation and respond to questions and comments from our community.
President Donald P. Christian, Vice President for Administration and Finance Michele Halstead and Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Barbara Lyman will lead the discussion about the College’s current revenue and expenditures, and how those have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The conversation will touch on actions taken thus far to reduce expenditures, and why more will be necessary; continuing uncertainties around spring 2021 enrollment; the outlook for possible tuition increases; expectations of a decline in state direct support; and how potential federal stimulus spending might affect our campus.
It will also provide employees and other stakeholders an opportunity to ask questions and share ideas on approaches our community may use to address budget challenges now and in the future.
In his October 2020 Report to the Faculty, President Christian provided some context for the recent budget situation at New Paltz, and how the pandemic disrupted efforts to bring revenue and expenses in line.
“From 2012 through 2015, we operated with balanced budgets – managing expenses so that they did not exceed revenue,” President Christian wrote. “Beginning in 2016, when the tuition rate was held flat for the first time in five years yet expenses continued to grow, we ran a structural deficit that grew to about $5 million by 2019. While worrisome, we regarded that deficit as manageable, by reducing expenditures, cautious use of campus reserve funds, and planned enrollment growth. We were making good progress on a three-year plan to right our budget. Then COVID-19 hit. The financial issues we face now are a world apart from those of 2016-19.”
The Budget Forum on Oct. 15 will provide campus community members with a clearer understanding of the differences in our budget situation pre- and post-coronavirus, and set the stage for a thoughtful and necessary process of addressing new budget challenges in the years to come.
The October 2020 Budget Forum can be accessed on Webex via this link: