Upon completion of an audit in October, the University of Dayton budget for the 2019 fiscal year will be finalized.
“The university is in very good financial health,” said Andrew Horner, executive vice president of business and administrative services. “We are not even close to a deficit.”
While crafting the yearly budget, the university looks at spending as a “community wallet,” Horner said.
While the overall budget will increase, restrictions are being made to travel, guest care and entertainment to ensure that costs do not surpass revenue. Additionally, approximately 10 positions that were listed at the university have been pulled to decrease costs.
To give an example of a travel restriction, President Eric Spina shared with Flyer News that he would be driving to Chicago for a business trip instead of flying.
Despite the reduced expenses, university officials expect the restrictions to be focused on non-student services.
“Students aren’t going to feel the impact,” Horner said.
Areas that have been designated as “high-priority” by the budget include experiential learning, financial aid, economic development and research. Salaries and raises for faculty and staff will increase as well.
$180 million will be given to financial aid. It is part of the university’s goal to increase diversity and assist veterans and international students. Experiential learning includes study abroad programs as well as programs such as the Institute of Applied Creativity (IACT).
As for economic development, the university is working on several projects in the city, such as the purchase of the Montgomery County Fairgrounds and the redevelopment of the Arcade downtown.
Due to the research-driven nature of the university, the budget also focuses on the University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI), which has achieved double digit growth in the last year. More than 400 undergraduates work at UDRI, as well as a range of scientists and engineers. Contracts have been made with organizations such as the Defense Department and the U.S. Air Force.
Tuition increases yearly between 2-2.5 percent, around the same pace as inflation. Even though tuition will go up, students have a fixed-rate tuition, meaning their yearly tuition bill will stay the same for all four years. Housing and dining costs will increase by three percent.
Funding for the university comes from three main sources: tuition, donors and sponsors. UD hosted its first “giving day” in spring 2019, receiving 5,700 total donations after setting a goal of 1,850 (the year UD was founded). Due to its success, the second “giving day” will be held in April 2020.
The university also received a $5 million dollar gift from an alumni couple, Margie and Bill Klesse. A large portion of the donation will go toward scholarships for students and experiential learning opportunities, particularly for students studying chemistry or chemical engineering.
The overall goals of the university include increasing diversity by establishing a permanent diversity council and developing a strategic plan, Spina said. Other broad goals include working on gender equity, promoting fundraising and increasing accessibility and affordability.
Flyer News will follow up on this report after the financial audit is completed in October.