Friday, June 8, 2018

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SUNY Sullivan budget proposal up about five percent

Athletes are flocking to the Loch Sheldrake
campus, boosting enrollment and revenue

MONTICELLO – Athletes are driving up enrollment at SUNY Sullivan and that is impacting the budget, in a positive way.

College President Jay Quaintance previewed the 2018-19 budget during Thursday’s county legislature Government Services Committee.

He said the proposed budget is just under $19.2 million, which is up just over $1 million from last year.  That’s close to the current year’s increase.

The good news is extra income from a growing number of athletes wanting to come to Loch Sheldrake, because of the move up to Division Two.

 “The primary driver for that increase, as I said, is the increased enrollment and revenue generated from chargebacks for out-of-county students, primarily, so this benefit to us, fairly substantially.”

Quaintance said the bad news comes from a couple of major areas, including trying to restore a healthy fund balance.  The running plan is to allocate $300,000 a year to get the fund balance, currently in the hole by about $1.7 million, back in the black.

The other big hit is what he described as a “very generous” benefit package for current and prior employees.  It is 28 percent of the operating budget. 

“Over the course of the year, we’re going to be working with our unions to come up with a new benefit plan that does nothing to in any way harm access to quality healthcare services, does nothing to harm employee pensions, but that will provide us a savings and honestly, a savings for prior employees as well.”

Quaintance did not mention tuition during his presentation.

Once the formal budget proposal is in their hands, legislators will review and act on the county contribution

One anecdotal note Quaintance mentioned is library usage.   Perhaps because just about anything can be resourced online now, visits to the library are down dramatically.  Quaintance said the library has over 52,000 volumes but only 431 were checked out last year.   One plan may be to work with department heads to review which books are still useful to specific programs.  Those volumes could either remain in the library or distributed to appropriate departments.

 


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