Trustees opt to continue current operating budget for 90 days

contact: Cheryl Roland
| WMU News

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees approved a motion June 29 to continue WMU's 2016-17 general fund budget for 90 days to allow the administration to develop a balanced budget once all critical elements of that budget are known.

The 2016-17 budget was slated to be replaced with a 2017-18 budget on July 1—the start of WMU's fiscal year. But two significant budget elements on the expense side—pay increases and health care plan design—are still to be determined due to ongoing contract negotiations. Since compensation can account for as much as 80 percent of the University's budget, developing a balanced new budget is not yet possible.

Jan Van Der Kley, WMU vice president for business and finance, presented the proposal to the board noting the move would allow the University to carry on day-to-day operations and meet instructional, programmatic and operating needs.

"It has been the practice under the leadership of President (John M.) Dunn to present a balanced general fund budget for board approval," Van Der Kley told the board. "But there are two significant items still being determined... A balanced budget for fiscal year 2017-18 cannot be developed at this time."

The board action calls for the administration to bring a 2017-18 general fund budget to trustees for action within 90 days. The board's next regularly scheduled meeting is Sept. 21.

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