Saturday, February 23, 2013

E-mail from President Cruzado: July 26, 2011

Dear MSU Community,

I hope you are having an enjoyable summer.  In the midst of these warm summer days, it seems hard to believe that the first day of the Fall Semester is little more than a month away.  And, as we begin to prepare for the start of the new school year, I believe this is a good time to review for you the financial health of the Bozeman Campus.  Only by sharing with you some of the key financial data and trends affecting our budget this year can we operate as true partners in the stewardship of this wonderful university.  Some of the significant events shaping our financial picture this year include:

   *Steady enrollment growth since Fall 2007
  *Student headcount up 11.4% through Fall 2010 and up 6.2% from Fall 2009 to 2010
  *We estimate total student enrollment to be up 2-3% again this Fall (2011)

   *Solid non-resident student base (26% in FY11) provides higher tuition revenue

   *State budget cut of 1.6% for the FY12/13 biennium ($750,000 per year)

   *Montana University System allocation adjustment for state funds based on Student FTE 
  *FY12 = Loss of $2.6 million vs. FY11;  FY13 = Loss of $5.2 million vs. FY11

   *Tuition increase approved by the Board of Regents
  *5% increase in FY12 ($4 million over FY11) 
  *Another 5% increase in FY13 ($8 million over FY11)

   *MSU set aside $7 million in the Board-approved revolving reserve over the past several years
  *These funds originated from enrollment growth revenues 

Although MSU's state funding has been reduced for the FY12/13 biennium, total general fund revenues (state funding plus tuition and fees) will actually be higher this year as a result of continued enrollment growth and tuition increases.  In fact, to support the recent enrollment increases, the university in FY12 has committed an additional $1.2 million in funding to the academic units and $200,000 to student support.  Further, we will still be able to provide one-time funding for additional course sections in FY12, which may be necessary if enrollment growth continues this year. 

I want you to know that every effort is being made to avoid larger class sizes and to maintain a quality educational experience for our students.  Also, reserves we set aside over the past several years will allow us to make strategic investments in our classrooms and instructional buildings to make them more accessible and accommodating to our growing number of students.  And, of course, we will continue to explore ways to invest in our greatest assets, our faculty and staff.  Even though we will have less financial support from the state this year than in years past, it is important for you to know that the resources of your university are being managed in a responsible manner to meet our growing needs. 

Thank you for playing a vital role in making Montana State University one of the finest educational institutions in the world.  I especially want to thank those of you on the Budget Council who have worked skillfully and tirelessly to navigate difficult circumstances.  I appreciate all you do for this university.  And, as always, if you have any comments, questions or recommendations, please don't hesitate to contact me at

Enjoy the rest of your summer, and I look forward to welcoming you back.  


Waded Cruzado