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Dear Ithaca College community,

The Ithaca College Board of Trustees has unanimously approved the college’s operating budget for the 2018–19 fiscal year. We invite you to read the news story below, which contains details about the approved budget, and to view the full budget book online, which will be posted for our community by mid-April.

We want to take a moment to thank those who worked diligently to create and refine this budget: the faculty, staff, and students who comprise the college’s Institutional Effectiveness and Budget Committee; the members of our senior leadership team; the members of the board’s finance committee; and the members of the board of trustees. We’d like to extend an additional measure of gratitude to Janet Williams, interim vice president for finance and administration, and Michael Conover ’81, trustee and chair of the board’s finance committee.

Our budget process was collaborative, thoughtful, and thorough, driven by our primary objectives of supporting student success and keeping the IC experience accessible and affordable. The depth of our investment in this work was a direct reflection of our excitement around Ithaca College’s future and the importance of deliberately and carefully crafting a strong foundation that will enable us to achieve our goals.

We look forward to working with you and the rest of our community as we open this next chapter for Ithaca College.

Sincerely,

Tom Grape ’80
Chair, Ithaca College Board of Trustees

Shirley M. Collado
President, Ithaca College

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Board of Trustees Approved Budget and Salary Increment Pool for 2018–19

On Tuesday, March 27, the Ithaca College Board of Trustees voted unanimously to approve the college’s 2018–19 fiscal year operating budget. The $235.5 million budget represents an increase of $2.3 million over the forecasted amount for fiscal year 2017–18.

Careful, intentional efforts continue to be made to keep to historic lows the annual rate of increase in tuition, room, and board. As announced in October, the combined total cost for next year for the student in a standard double room with corresponding board plan will be $59,540, which represents a 2.38 percent increase over the current year. For historical perspective, the increase in tuition, room, and board approved for the 2017–18 budget was 2.45 percent; the increase approved 10 years ago in the 2008–09 budget was 6.02 percent. This year’s increase is the lowest on record.

Further, the average undergraduate tuition is significantly decreased by the college’s strong commitment to affordability and accessibility. The 2018–19 budget dedicates $126.3 million to unfunded institutional financial aid, the highest sum in the college’s history. For comparison, the budgeted figure for 2017–18 was $121.5 million, and for 2014–15 it was slightly more than $100 million. Unfunded aid represents the college’s investment, and doesn’t include restricted financial aid, government funds, or donations. In all, projected unfunded financial aid in 2018–19 represents about 46 percent of the college’s gross tuition income and about 35 percent of all income categories.

Identical to last fiscal year, the salary pool increase for faculty and staff for the upcoming year will be up to 2.5 percent, with 1.75 allocated for full general merit and up to .75 percent allocated for additional merit. The college understands the tremendous impact faculty and staff have on the quality of the IC experience and the stature of our institution. Therefore, in an effort to attract and retain talented individuals, the college continues to provide a compensation pool that is fully competitive with the market with respect to salary and very strong in the market with respect to benefits.

The 2018–19 budget also includes allocations for strategic initiatives that allow the college to be more efficient and effective. One such initiative is the Constituent Relationship Management (CRM) System, which will enable the college to improve its efforts spanning from enrollment, retention, and student learning through alumni engagement. Another is the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System, which will enable the college to better manage its human resource and finance functions as well as related information technology.

Allocations were also approved to resolve deferred maintenance items, which has been an ongoing goal for the board and the college since the rollout of the 2015 Campus Master Plan. During the three fiscal years since the adoption of that plan, a concerted effort has been made to focus capital requests primarily on addressing the most significant deferred maintenance items. For the 2018–19 budget, deferred maintenance items include the renovation of the East Tower bathrooms, and upgrades to building security systems and classroom audio/visual technology. In addition, the board approved an allocation to begin a conceptual analysis and study for a renovation of the Campus Center, a continuation of the college’s commitment to creating student-centered spaces where all members of the college community can meaningfully interact.

“From beginning to end, this was a robust, involved process that saw many members of our college community coming together to build and own a budget that stays true to our institution’s key objectives,” said Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration Janet Williams. “We also kept in mind the college’s upcoming strategic planning process, and the importance of our decisions in laying the critical groundwork to support that process.”

The full budget book will be posted online in mid-April, prior to that month’s “Dollars and $ense” meeting, which will address next year’s budget.