Balanced FY14 Budget Presented to Board of Trustees

Harper College has presented a balanced operational budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2014 to its Board of Trustees despite questions about state funding and a possible shift of pension costs onto community colleges. The Harper Board received the FY14 budget at its regularly scheduled meeting on Wednesday, June 19, 2013. A formal budget hearing is scheduled for August 21, 2013.

 Harper's FY14 Education Fund budget, which covers the cost of instruction including faculty, administrative and professional salaries and educational supplies and equipment, is tentatively set at $89,012,196, a decrease of $442,598 or about 0.5% from FY13.

Harper's Operation and Maintenance Fund budget, which covers the costs of campus maintenance, repairs and utilities, is tentatively set at $17,860,842, a decrease of $122,732 or about 0.7% from FY13.

State support for Harper is estimated at $6.6 million next year, or just 6 percent 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. The Illinois General Assembly is also considering shifting the cost of employee pensions from the State and onto community college and state universities. A cost shift bill passed the Illinois House last month, but was defeated in the Illinois Senate. Shifting pensions to community colleges under the current proposal would cost Harper approximately $8.4 million annually after a 12-year phase in period.

"Despite uncertainly about pensions and the percentage 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 today's difficult job market, it's critical that Harper provide 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."

 Harper College's Fiscal Year 2014 budget is available for inspection at the College's business office and will be the subject of a public hearing at the Board's regularly scheduled meeting at 6 p.m.  August 21, 2013 in Room 214 of the Wojcik Conference Center on the Harper campus.