Vincennes University has adopted a $154.2 million budget for fiscal year 2012-13.
The final two parts of the budget were adopted today by the VU Board of Trustees. They include a $74.25 general fund budget and a $16.36 million housing operations budget.
“It is important that our students recognize that VU provides top-quality service through its faculty and staff, and modern facilities that enhance a positive environment for both learning and student life,” said Phil Rath, vice president for Financial Services and Government Relations.
On the expenditure side, the general fund budget includes employee compensation totaling about $50.6 million. It includes funding for a 2 percent merit wage pool and an 8 percent increase in health insurance costs.
The budget includes $1.2 million for repair and rehabilitation of facilities and it assumes no change in the state operating appropriation of $37.2 million. The budget plan assumes conservative revenue estimates and directs funds to those areas emphasized in VU’s Strategic Plan.
The budget includes a tuition and fee increase of 2.8 percent with an additional 1 percent increase for facility repair and rehabilitation. These increases were approved in May 2011 as part of a two-year budgeting process.
“We tried to be sensitive about tuition increases and think about our students and their parents as they seek access to higher education. At the same time, we have a responsibility to maintain a quality program at Vincennes University, so this budget reflects that,” said VU President Dick Helton.
A new item in the budget will fund the establishment of the Middle-Income Scholarship that was announced in December. The scholarship will provide needed financial assistance to under-served families and students in Indiana and reduce the debt load of graduates. For qualifying students, VU’s Middle-Income Hoosier Scholarship will provide $250 per semester for two years with an additional $250 refund provided to students who earn an associate degree in five semesters or fewer.
“For too long middle-income families have not qualified for financial aid, and it is the goal of Vincennes University to reach out to middle-income Hoosiers and help bridge this gap by providing real savings for middle-income families and students,” Helton said.
VU will continue to offer the lowest tuition and fees among all state residential colleges. Under the new tuition and fees, VU students will pay $179 more in 2012-13. For full-time, in-state students, VU tuition will be $4,884 this year.
The budget assumes the Advanced Manufacturing and Technology Center now under construction at the VU Jasper Campus will begin operation in January 2013. The Center will add over 54,000 square feet of laboratories and classroom space that will be devoted to programming in technologies needed for employees to succeed in the modern workforce.
Incorporated in the budget is a 4 percent increase in room-and-board fees for VU’s six residence halls. Three-fourths of the increase is for higher operating costs such as food and maintenance, and one-fourth is debt service for long-term repair and rehabilitation. Even with the increase, VU’s housing rate ranks among the lowest compared to the other state colleges.
Helton praised the work of trustees and staff in preparing this year’s budget. “We tried to develop a financial plan that will allow us to provide programming that is important to our students and the communities we serve,” Helton said. He singled out both the Board’s Finance/Revenue Committee and the VU Financial Services Area under Vice President Rath for their work in developing the budget.
“This has been a challenging budget to prepare but the good news is that it will allow VU to continue to provide a quality education and modern academic facilities comparable to any college in the state, and to do this at an affordable cost,” Helton said.