Office of Planning and Budgeting

OPB published a new brief yesterday discussing expectations for the upcoming Washington State revenue and caseload/entitlement forecasts, and how both are likely to affect UW state funding levels.

**EDITED TO ADD: Note that after we released this information, the new caseload forecast was released and lowered the expected growth of caseloads for K-12, Medicaid, and Corrections. In particular, the anticipated impacts of federal healthcare reform lowered the predicted caseload for state-supported medical programs by $117 million in the long-term and $70 million in the short-term.**

Nationally, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) updated their analysis of state budget shortfalls this week. They summarize the challenges faced by states via their blog:

  • For fiscal year 2012, one of the most difficult budget years on record. Some 44 states are projecting shortfalls totaling $112 billion for the year, which begins July 1 in most states. (See chart below.)  This figure is somewhat lower than in our previous version of this analysis, largely because of actions that Illinois took in its last legislative session that reduced the size of its 2012 shortfall.
  • The loss of emergency federal assistance. Assistance through the 2009 Recovery Act and the August 2010 jobs bill has been a huge help to states, allowing them to balance their budgets with smaller budget cuts and tax increases than they would otherwise need to make.  But that aid will largely be gone by the end of fiscal year 2011.
  • A long road to recovery. Already, 26 states are projecting shortfalls totaling $75 billion for fiscal year 2013, which begins in 16 months.  This number will likely grow once all states have prepared estimates.

Last week, Senate and House Fiscal and Higher Education Committee leadership asked all public baccalaureate institutions and the community and technical colleges to identify specific budget reductions at three levels for 2011-13. For the UW, those cut intervals were:  The Governor’s proposed $189.8 million cut, a $218 million cut (Governor’s cut + 15%), and a $246 million cut (Governor’s cut + 30%). For scale, the UW received $627 million in state funds for the 2009-11 biennium (Fiscal Years 2010 and 2011).

Potential reductions identified by the UW and submitted by President Wise to the Legislature yesterday were sobering, although President Wise pointed out in correspondence to campus leadership that some of the examples in the letter,  “…may come to pass, but only as a result of the strategic budget process currently underway, not because of reference in the letter.”

Neither the House nor the Senate Fiscal Committee has submitted their budget proposal for the 2011-13 biennium yet and we do not know how each committee will ultimately handle the UW’s state appropriation. While we have the Governor’s proposed budget in hand, the appropriations process is far from being over. We will continue to post state budget updates to this blog as they develop.

Media coverage of our submission to the Legislature is available here, here, and here.

Leadership in both fiscal committees of the House of Representatives and Senate signed a compromise budget to closing the remaining FY 2011 budget deficit. Both new cuts and fund transfers are included in the compromise.

While the budget is not final and both chambers must take a floor vote, the conference budget is in near final form. Higher education institutions would not receive direct state funding cuts, but would be asked to backfill a new cut to the State Need Grant (SNG) with institution resources. The UW would be directed to use $5,658,000 of internal funds to cover the general fund reduction to the SNG.

Also note that higher education institutions were exempt from a salary reduction (furlough) requirement.

Lastly, the compromise budget did not close the Basic Health Plan but it did make significant cuts to K12 and other social services.

The economic outlook for state budgets remains bleak and additional steep cuts to public higher education inevitable, making it imperative to re-imagine how institutions can become more efficient and self-sufficient while remaining effective and accountable to the public. For many institutions greater autonomy from the practices and requirements of state government seems attractive, and this topic is explored in OPB’s latest brief on variations in institutional autonomy among the UW and its peers.

Paul Jenny, Vice Provost of Planning & Budgeting, presented the Governor’s proposed budget for higher education and the UW to our Board of Regents last Thursday. Paul touched on the upcoming state revenue forecast, the Governor’s cuts to all institutions, and the impact of future state funding cuts on campus.

The Regents expressed many concerns throughout the presentation, but a few points proved especially troubling:

  • If the Governor’s budget is adopted, higher education institutions’ funding would be cut by half, or $500 million since FY 2008.
  • State funding for higher education institutions on a per student full time equivalent (FTE) basis has deteriorated. While the state covered 70% of funding per student FTE in 1991, the Governor’s budget would only cover 30% of needed funding per student FTE.
  • The Governor’s budget proposes 11% tuition rate increases for resident undergraduates, but even with tuition increases factored in from all student categories, the UW would still face a net $91 million reduction in state funding.

As usual, Planning & Budgeting will continue to post budget updates throughout the 2011 Legislative Session on this blog. As we’ve stressed before, the Governor’s budget is the first budget proposal for the upcoming biennium; we have a long session before us and no budget is final at this point.

Today, the Office of State Relations and the Office of Planning and Budgeting held a legislative session overview for folks across campus who are frequently called upon to respond to requests for information during session, including providing feedback on proposed bills, completing fiscal note responses, or working with state relations to testify or answer questions in Olympia.

Please visit our State Budget Process webpage to view or print all four presentations that were made this afternoon, to access the UW BillTracker, and other documents and presentations relating to the State budget process.

Also make sure to subscribe to OPBlog and to the State Relations Blog for regular updates throughout Session and beyond.

The Washington State Legislature quickly passed a second supplemental budget for Fiscal Year 2011 on Saturday, which closed $580 million of the FY11 $1.1 billion deficit. More cutting must be done; we anticipate that this action will occur in a final supplemental budget, which would be adopted in January 2011, likely as the first action of the 2011 legislative session set to begin on Monday, January 10th.

This Saturday’s budget included reductions to many areas of government but Basic Education, Human Services, and the Department of Social and Health Services were hardest hit. Meanwhile, Higher Education received a revision of October’s across-the-board cuts in order to maintain a  federally-required maintenance of effort (MOE) funding floor. While this federal requirement spared individual higher education institutions from major cuts this month, the MOE does not apply to state-funded financial aid programs, and the next round of FY11 cuts will likely include reductions to the State Need Grant.

Please review our briefing on Saturday’s budget for more information and contact us directly with any questions.

The National Center For Education Statistics (NCES) is a part of the US Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. Every US University governed by Title IV of the Higher Education Act (federal student aid programs) is required to submit annual data to NCES via nine surveys that cover topics such as pricing, admissions, enrollment, employment, financial aid, graduation/completion, institutional finance and more.

NCES releases regular reports synthesizing the massive amount of data that institutions submit. The latest, Employees in Postsecondary Institutions, Fall 2009, and Salaries of Full-Time Instructional Staff, 2009-10, summarizes national trends in higher education employment. Some of the findings include:

  • Institutions reported employing (not including medical schools or hospitals) 3.8 million employees– 2.4 million full-time and 1.4 million part-time.
  • Of the 2.4 million full-time employees,  1.4 million were classified as professional (see report for definition), 46% of whom had faculty status: 21% with tenure, 9% on the tenure-track, and 17% not on the tenure-track or at an institution without tenure.
  • Of full-time faculty with tenure, 65% were men while 35% were women.
  • Of full-time faculty with tenure, 81% were White, 8% were Asian, 5% were African American, and 4% were Hispanic.

You can explore more NCES reports, facts, and figures online. Additionally, you can build your own queries and pull up institutional data based on any set of universities you identify.

At this month’s meeting, the Board of Regents was given a presentation detailing student enrollment to provide a sense of the size and scope of the UW’s instructional enterprise.  Highlights from this presentation are below.

All enrollments

  • In Fall 2010, 49,940 students were enrolled; this represents a 21 percent increase over the Fall 2000 enrollment of 41,200.
  • Of the 49,940 students, 42,935 (86%) are considered “state-reported students.”
  • Of the 7,005 non-state-reported enrollments, 1,020 represent students allowed to take up to six credits on a space available basis (senior citizens and state and university employees).  Those remaining are students in fee-based programs.

State-reported undergraduate enrollments

  • In Fall 2010, 32,500 state-reported undergraduates are enrolled, up 16 percent from the Fall 2000 level of 28,000.
  • Of these 32,500 undergraduates, 16 percent are nonresidents.

Looking forward, a new report from the National Association for College Admission Counseling, 2010: State of College Admission, puts college enrollment figures in a national context by discussing trends in the college-age population and projections for post-secondary participation in the coming years. They find that while the number of high school graduates has peaked after a decade of growth (expected to rebound by 2018-19), college enrollment continues at an all-time high even though minorities and low-income students remain underrepresented.

Be sure to regularly check the Spotlight section on the OPB homepage where we post links to important documents and work products that have been posted to our website. Currently you will find links relating to recent budget cuts, and the altered time-line for implementing an activity-based budgeting (ABB) approach at the UW, among other things.

Additionally, OPB Briefs (recent and archived) are always posted to our website.

← Previous PageNext Page →