Revenue shortfalls to be overcome with use of reserves

Financial uncertainty continues at Youngstown State University as first quarter revenues came up short by $3 million.

The total will be roughly $6 million by the end of fiscal year 2012, should spring enrollment remain consistent with the fall and summer classes factored in.

“[It] is entirely attributable to the decrease in enrolled students,” said Neal McNally, budget director.

After budgeting for a 1 percent increase in enrollment for fall semester, administration was taken aback by a 3.5 percent decline.

McNally said his colleagues in student affairs ensure him enrollment numbers will stabilize and YSU will “see a somewhat normal spring attrition rate.”

Overall revenues for the first quarter are $67,540,732, but 1.4 percent below projections.

McNally said he remains confident that the use of $1.9 million in bond reserves, coupled with close monitoring and strategic cuts, will result in a balanced budget.

However, additional shortfalls may result due to changes in federal regulations.

“The new federal Title IV regulations regarding satisfactory academic progress could result in an additional decline in enrollment levels in the spring and summer semesters,” McNally wrote in a report presented to the board of trustees on Tuesday.

The Ohio Board of Regents will finalize its share of funding this month, but McNally said he doesn’t expect the funding to change.

“State funding for this fiscal year is pretty much set,” McNally said.

“State tax receipts are coming in on or above target, so we don’t expect any funding cuts from the state this year.”

During his report, McNally updated the board on the voluntary staff contributions. So far, 93 percent of the union-exempt employees pledged $367,684 in furlough days or monetary contributions.

“It’s a testament to our exempt employees to recognize our budget challenges,” said Scott Schulick, chairman of the finance and facilities committee.

McNally said the number is subject to change, as some employees are responding to the request later than the deadline.