Marshall budget in better shape heading into new fiscal year

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall University’s chief financial officer says the school is in a better financial position heading into a new fiscal year following a strong third quarter.

Mark Robinson discussed MU’s finances during a meeting last week of Marshall’s Board of Governors.

Mark Robinson (Photo/Marshall University)

The third quarter, which ended March 31, included an increases in revenues, a decrease in salaries and wages and a 3.2% increase in investment earnings.

“Revenues are up $12 million, a lot of that is stimulus money but still it’s money we can use,” Robinson told the BOG. “On the other side, our salaries and wages are down $5 million. The real thing is we think our net position is a much better place this year than last year.”

Marshall, like a lot of colleges and universities, took a serious financial hit because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The BOG reduced its budget by $13 million heading into the current fiscal year. It cut positions and reduced pay. Marshall used $10 million reserve funds to balance the current budget.

Meanwhile, the MU BOG approved next fiscal year’s budget at last week’s meeting.

Robinson expects the new budget to be helped by a projected increase in out-of-state student enrollment. He said Marshall is using $5.7 million in COVID relief funds in the new budget.

“That was going to be $6 million so that’s been reduced a little bit,” Robinson said.

Marshall has received about $29 million in pandemic-related funds from the federal government.

The new budget targets reserve funds for the start-up of the Bill Noe Flight School. An official opening is planned for Aug. 10.

Robinson concluded MU’s new budget was “somewhat optimistic.”

“It’s not real aggressive but once we find out what student (enrollment) will be in September we’ll update (revenues),” Robinson said.

The BOG approved a 1.76% tuition and fee increase for out-of-state students and graduate students in an April vote while deciding not to increase costs for in-state students.

The increase, which will be about $500, will generate approximately $1.5 million.

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