ESU considering budget adjustments with potential budget shortfall through June Featured

ESU considering budget adjustments with potential budget shortfall through June KVOE News file photo

Emporia State University is researching its potential options for trimming its current-year budget in light of a projected budget shortfall through June as announced earlier this month.

President Allison Garrett has told the campus community ESU could be short anywhere from $500,000 to $1.3 million, depending on how the second-semester headcount numbers shake out later this winter. Vice President of Administration and Finance Diana Kuhlmann tells KVOE News the overall shortfall is being noticed across the budget spectrum and reflects several trends, including state funding at 2009 levels and less full-time-equivalent students. On FTE numbers, Kuhlmann says ESU is not alone in that regard.

KVOE's social media criticized the university for developing large-scale construction projects, including Schallenkamp Hall and the Breidenthal President's House. Kuhlmann says those projects, as well as the Profit Aquatic Research Center, were not supported by the ESU general fund budget.

Cuts in state support have hit ESU sporadically over the last decade and have combined with tuition shortfalls to cause cutbacks at ESU in 2003, 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Kuhlmann stresses ESU has had several positive trends develop over the past decade, including increases in new student and graduate student enrollment, the highest retention rates in ESU history and low tuition rates.

Conversations continue on Emporia State's final action plan. Kuhlmann says some possibilities include leaving positions open through attrition and spacing out maintenance projects, but final steps will be determined later this semester.

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