The Arizona Board of Regents approved the fiscal year 2023 budget for three of Arizona’s public universities in its most recent board meeting held earlier this month.
NAU’s budget represents a slight decrease from its fiscal year 2022 budget, mainly because of the one-time Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) amount provided last year. Overall, however, the university forecasts an increase in net status in both 2022 and 2023 ($7.9 million).
Björn Flugstadt, Vice President of Finance, Institutional Planning and Analysis, presented the university budget at the May 26 meeting of ABOR’s Finance, Capital and Resources Committee.
Overall, revenue is projected to decline 5% from the 2022 budget (and 10% from expected 2022 results). The total for 2023 is $620.4 million; Its 2022 total is estimated to be $686.1 million.
Tuition and fee adjustments approved in April mean a modest increase in university revenue. Other areas of growth in Flugstadt include campus activities, sponsored project awards and additional Road Scholar activity.
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The agenda for the board meeting shows that NAU’s gross tuition and fee revenue is projected to total $369.5 million in 2022, an amount projected to increase to $377.4 million in 2023. That’s still down from the 2021 total of $379.4 million, which is low in comparison. For both 2019 and 2020.
Enrollment at the university is still projected to decline in 2023, although less than the 3.2% (858 full-time equivalent, or FTE, students) previously predicted as part of the tuition setting in March. Flugstad’s presentation showed an estimate of a 1.7% reduction in enrollment (473 FTE students).
Overall, NAU expects its undergraduate student base to decrease by 545 and its graduate student count to increase by 72. This would mean six years of continuous growth in graduate students.
“Graduate enrollment is largely driven by roll-through of younger cohorts of previous years,” Flugstad said. “We expect this fall to be the trough of that roll through impact on enrollment.”
The reduction includes a one-time fund with slightly less recurring investment, a one-time 2022 Technology and Research Initiative Fund (TRIF) funding that will not continue and a reduction in HERF funding.
As of the presentation, HEERF funding for 2022 totaled $77 million, or 13% of the university’s total revenue for the year. In FY23, the university will receive a total of $14 million in HEERF funding, 2% of the year’s revenue.
Expenses are projected to decrease by 9% by 2022. The 2022 spending is estimated at $612.5 million, while the 2022 estimate is $670.0 million. Flugstad said this includes $8 million in one-time personnel investment.
“Inflation is certainly a point that we are very much looking forward to seeing,” he said, noting that the university is looking at ways to protect through an analysis of contract negotiations, leases and campus purchases.
The Finance, Capital and Resources Committee meeting, including Flugstad’s presentation, can be viewed on ABOR’s YouTube, as can the June 9 board meeting.
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