Operating budget to hit $1 billion next fiscal year

Nelson Carbonell gives updates to the Board of Trustees. The board approved a $1 billion operating budget for next fiscal year.

Updated: May 17, 2016 at 6:43 p.m.

The University’s operating budget will reach $1 billion next fiscal year, the Board of Trustees voted Friday.

The budget increased by 7 percent from last fiscal year’s $935 million budget – which reflects similar rises in enrollment and tuition revenue for the upcoming fiscal year. The board also voted on a smaller construction budget for the upcoming year, as major projects wrap up on campus.

University spokeswoman Maralee Csellar said in an email that an increase in enrollment led to the increase in the budget for the coming year.

“The operating budget reflects an improvement in graduate enrollments and our ongoing efforts to make reductions in the central administration,” the release said.

Tuition revenue makes up about 75 percent of the University’s operating budget, which covers non-construction expenses like salaries and daily operations.

The board approved a smaller capital budget of $85. 3 million – about 36 percent less than last year. Csellar said in an email that the capital budget decreased because major construction projects were completed this year, including new residence hall District House, which is set to open in the fall.

From fiscal years 2012 to 2014, the capital budget totaled more than $400 million.

The capital budget this fiscal year will cover renovation and maintenance projects, including construction on the upper floors of the Science and Engineering Hall, renovations to the Corcoran School of Arts and Design’s Flagg Building on 17th Street and residence halls, according to a University release.

The board also approved an “up to 3 percent” increase in performance-based bonuses for faculty and staff, according to the release. This increase is consistent with raises in the past few years. Faculty asked the University to see a larger increase in funds for health care.

The operating budget also includes $275 million set aside for financial aid.

The release said $725 million will go toward research institutes at the University, like the GW Cancer Center and the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders Institute.

The budget will also fund a series of sustainability improvement projects to water, lighting, boiler and electric systems in residence halls, academic buildings and administrative buildings, according to the release release.

“We plan for this to be a multi-year, ongoing effort to reduce GW’s carbon footprint, reduce utility costs and assist in upgrading building infrastructure and equipment,” Csellar said.

This post is updated to reflect the following correction:
The Hatchet incorrectly reported that professors had asked the University to shift funds for bonuses to funds for health care. They had actually asked that the University pay more for benefits without paying less for merit increases. We regret this error.

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