Harper Board Approves Balanced Budget Despite Dwindling State Support

PALATINE, IL - The Harper College Board of Trustees has approved a balanced operational budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2013. Board members approved the financial plan despite a continued decline in state funding.

Harper's FY 13 Education Fund budget, which covers the cost of instruction including faculty, administrative and professional salaries and educational supplies and equipment, is tentatively set at $89,454,794, an increase of 2,862,762 or about 3.3% from FY 12. The increase is primarily due to contractual salary increases for union and non-union workers.

Harper's Operation and Maintenance Fund budget, which covers the costs of campus maintenance, repairs and utilities, is tentatively set at $17,983,574, an increase of $89,041 or about 0.5% from FY 12.

Harper's operational budget is balanced for FY 13 even though state funding continues to decline for Harper and all Illinois community colleges. The FY 13 state budget reduces funding for community colleges by 5.7% compared to FY 12 levels.

State support for Harper is estimated at $6.5 million next year or just 5.8% of the College's revenues. Under the original concept, the State was to fund a third of a community college's costs with property tax revenue and tuition covering the other two-thirds. State funding for Harper on a per capita basis has fallen to its lowest level in the College's 45-year history.

"Despite the continuing decline in state revenues, we are pleased to present a budget that honors the Board's commitment to fiscal responsibility," said Harper College President Dr. Kenneth Ender. "With the economy continuing to struggle, it's critical that Harper provide the type of programs that will help workers learn new skills and retrain for new careers as well as provide an affordable alternative to soaring tuition at traditional four-year universities."