Budget shortfall for ESU could range from $500,000 to $1.3 million Featured

Budget shortfall for ESU could range from $500,000 to $1.3 million KVOE News file photo

Despite official increases in headcount three years in a row, Emporia State University finds itself in a difficult financial spot.

A letter from President Allison Garrett to the campus community earlier this month detailed a projected shortfall of anywhere from $500,000 to $1.3 million for the current fiscal year. The final amount is pending.

This comes after ESU started the fiscal year with a shortfall that Garrett says was offset by savings from fiscal 2019. Garrett cited several factors for the current shortfall, including changing population, demographics and student mix; shrinking state general fund support; and increased cost pressures on limited resources.

Garrett also expects a shortfall in fiscal 2021 starting in July "if we continue businesses as usual."

According to the Kansas Board of Regents, headcount increased from 5,732 students in the fall of 2017 to 5,877 students this past fall. The number of full-time equivalent students, however, dropped from 4,493 in the fall 2018 semester to 4,416 in the fall 2019 reporting period.

ESU is putting together a working group to set action plans for both short-term and long-term solutions. Garrett is also asking faculty and staff to limit spending to needed items.

KVOE News has reached out to ESU administrators for additional comment.

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Last modified on Tuesday, 21 January 2020 14:23