ETSU’s July 2017-2018 budget is still weeks from completion, but B.J. King, Senior Associate Vice President for Financial Services and acting CFO, had some insights as to what students can expect.
The largest, and arguably most important, areas of the budget are the academic and instruction areas, which include all of the colleges in the university.
King said that while there were no contentious areas of the budget, the main struggle lay in prioritizing the requests for budget funds from the different units, each of which have their own order of priority.
A budget advisory committee meets regularly to view presentations from the different units and decide how to prioritize funds across the entire institution.
There are no major changes between this year’s budget and last year’s, with October’s leftover budget being the starting point for July’s.
The primary goal of this year’s budget includes keeping it in line with strategic plan developed by the university.
Current and future building projects are also being taken into account when building the budget.
The renovations for Lamb Hall, however, won’t be included in this budget.
“We’re in good shape with all the projects that we currently have moving forward, and we have one new project for Lamb Hall that we’ll have to work on the fundraising piece, but that doesn’t come through the education and general budget,” King said.
As of this spring, the Tennessee Board of Regents will be replaced by an institutional Board of Trustees. King said this change had no bearing on the process of building the budget, but the new Board of Trustees will look over and approve the budget at their second meeting in June.
The upcoming budget will still have to be presented to the Tennessee Board of Regents because of debt service required on buildings ETSU is currently paying back loans on. However, it is only being reviewed for general compliance to debt service.
“I think it’s been a really good process, it’s been very open and transparent, and I think that’s exactly what the university wanted,” King said of putting together the budget.
She added that students could also find links to budget requests and the timeline on the website, under the president’s office, under the interim council.