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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Board approves FY 2011 budget

Published: March 26, 2010
Section: Front Page

The board of trustees approved a $356 million operating budget for fiscal year 2011 that, due to the Brandeis 2020 Committee’s academic cuts, will put the university on the path to a balanced operating budget by 2014.

The board took 13 percent ($11 million) of the university’s quasi-endowment in order to balance FY 2011’s budget. The quasi-endowment is often referred to as the university’s “reserve fund” because, unlike the rest of the endowment, which is comprised of restricted gifts, the quasi-endowment can be used for anything at any time.

The 18 academic cuts proposed in the Brandeis 2020 Committee’s report, which was by university Provost Marty Krauss March 8, will be “phased in,” board member Meyer Koplow ’72 said.

According to university projections, the budget for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 will draw $6.3 million and $ 1.8 million from the quasi-endowment, respectively, Koplow said. By 2014, the university budget should not draw from the fund.

This balanced budget means the 2020 cuts should mark the end of over a year of academic, budgetary and programing cuts that have plagued Brandeis since the beginning of the nationwide recession in fall 2008.

“We are not anticipating that there will be further cuts to the academy,” Koplow said. While the approved 2020 proposals do plan for “staff consolidation” of 12 to 14 university employees, this should be the last cut of any kind for the foreseeable future.

The budget for FY2011 will be balanced, in part, to a 3.9 percent increase in tuition and mandatory fees. With the increase, tuition will cost $38,994, housing (on average) will cost $6,306 and meal plans will cost (on average) $4,906.

Contributing to the balanced budget are re-financed energy contracts by the board which reopened and extended the contracts at a lower price. Koplow did not know whether the recent installation of solar panels on the roof of the Gosman Sports Center had an effect on the budget. The solar panels, which cost the university no money to install as they were bought via a power purchase agreement, were turned on Feb. 24 and are projected to save the university $1 million over the course of their lifetime.

President Jehuda Reinharz wrote in an e-mail to the Brandeis community that the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, the International Business School and the Rabb School of Continuing Studies found also generated more income for the university by increasing enrollment for the 2010-2011 academic year.

Reinharz also wrote in his e-mail that he and other members of the senior administration will be holding two open houses, one for undergraduates and one for graduate students, after spring break.