Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Executive Division > Budget Bulletin May 23
May 23, 2011With a new governor in office and a lot of changes in the membership of the House of Representatives, we had to wait until the final day of this year's session of the Kansas Legislature before we knew what our budget would be for fiscal year 2012, which begins July 1. Now I can share with you what it all means for the students, faculty and staff at Fort Hays State University. The Legislature officially adjourned on Thursday, May 12. We are still sorting through some of the details, but we believe we are facing a reduction of more than $1.5 million for the coming year. Although we don't know exactly, we estimate a reduction of about $750,000 in state funding. Also there are unfunded mandates of nearly $800,000. An increase of more than $600,000 in employer costs for health insurance is the biggest of the unfunded mandates. Another mandate is longevity bonuses for classified employees. The Legislature took away the funding but still requires us to pay the bonuses. Until last week, I had anticipated that the cuts and the unfunded mandates would add up to about $2 million, so this final reduction is somewhat less than we expected. The good news is that thanks to the efforts all of you have made over the past two years, we are in position to deal with these latest cuts. Through your hard work, we implemented numerous efficiencies and we continued to grow our enrollment. At Spring Convocation on May 6, with the legislative session in its final days, you may recall that I said we would need to consider four factors in setting next year's budget: 1. growth and quality; 2. compression and equity; 3. tuition; and 4. base pay and inflation. After visiting with many of you, I concluded that base pay was our highest priority. You have gone two years without raises while taking on greater workloads. Therefore, I have approved merit pay increases for most unclassified employees. Those who are in their first year will not receive merit raises. Those who have been here for at least a year but less than two years will receive raises from a 1 percent merit pool. Those who have been here for two years or longer will receive raises from a 2 percent merit pool. Chairs and supervisors have submitted recommendations for what the individual raises should be from those pools. I have also authorized a $1,000 health care adjustment for all full-time unclassified employees. In addition, we are budgeting a total of about $100,000 for compression increases that will go to employees we have identified as out of line with their on-campus peers. Compression, as you may know, results when the salaries of long-term employees do not keep pace with the salaries of more recent hires. We are also funding degree completion and promotion commitments. Next year's salaries will be calculated by first adding the merit pay increase to an employee's 2011 base pay, then adding the health care adjustment, and finally adding any additional adjustments for equity, compression, promotion, tenure and degree completion. To deal with the issue of growth and quality, we are adding faculty positions in Marketing and Management, in Health and Human Performance, and in Justice Studies. We are also increasing a math position from part time to full time, and we are adding a counselor in Financial Aid and a Texas recruiter in Admissions. Finally, we have submitted to the Kansas Board of Regents a proposal to increase our tuition by 4 percent for the 2011-2012 academic year. This will bring our in-state, undergraduate tuition to $105.20 per credit hour, up from the current tuition of $101.15 per credit hour. Therefore, tuition at FHSU will be $1,578 per semester for a student who is enrolled in 15 hours. That compares to proposals for an increase of $14.80 per hour for a semester total of $3,805.50 at K.U., an increase of $8.80 per hour for a semester total of $3,468.00 at K-State, an increase of $9.45 per hour for a semester total of $2,502.75 at Wichita State, an increase of $8.80 per hour for a semester total of $2,066.00 at Pittsburg State; and an increase of $8.33 per hour for a semester total of $1,932.00 at Emporia State. FHSU offers a high quality education and remains the best buy among the Regents universities by a wide margin, which is important both for our strategy of continued growth and for our commitment to make higher education affordable for all Kansans. Despite a third year of declining financial support from the state, we will hold our tuition increase to a minimum while providing increases in salaries and benefits for most of our employees. Overall, the increases for unclassified employees will average about 4.5 percent. Given the resources we have, this is the most we can do this year. You have worked hard and you deserve it. Unfortunately, our classified employees will get no raises and no health care adjustments. You also must pay a 2.5 percent surcharge or tax on your employer-provided health benefits. We do not know yet how this will be done, but the result is that you will get less take-home pay instead of more take-home pay next year. I know this will create a significant hardship for you. It is not fair, but state law dictates that legislators, not university presidents, make the salary decisions for classified employees. I thank all of you for your hard work. You provided the foundation that allows us to deal positively with these challenges.
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