University Senate

University Senate committee shares sources and uses of funding for schools and colleges

Liam Sheehan | Staff Photographer

Chancellor Kent Syverud addressed the University Senate on Wednesday, where he defended his reaction to President Donald Trump's travel ban.

The Syracuse University Senate’s Committee on Budget and Fiscal Affairs presented a report Wednesday detailing how SU schools and colleges acquired and spent money during fiscal year 2016.

The report is divided into four categories: “sources of funds,” “sources and decision making,” “uses of funds” and “uses and decision making.”

SU schools and colleges received funding from six main sources during fiscal year 2016, per the report. Those sources consisted of undergraduate tuition, graduate and law school tuition, subvention, grants and contracts, gifts and endowment and program fees.

Undergraduate tuition was, by a wide margin, the largest source of income for schools and colleges. It accounted for 63 percent of total revenue across all schools and colleges, according to the report. That proportion varied across different schools and colleges: The College of Arts and Sciences had more than 70 percent of its revenue come from undergraduate tuition, while it accounted for just 42 percent of revenue for the School of Information Studies.

In addition to undergraduate tuition, 17.9 percent of revenue came from graduate and law school tuition; 6.9 percent came from subvention sources; 6.2 percent came from grants and contracts; 3 percent came from gifts and endowments; and 1.1 percent came from program fees, according to the report.

The report also details how the funding sources are influenced through decision-making. According to the report, undergraduate tuition is influenced by several factors: admissions decisions that are controlled centrally by schools and colleges; tuition rates that are controlled by deans, university leadership and the Board of Trustees; and student course choices, “which are a function of both program offerings and program curricula.”

Meanwhile, changes to graduate school tuition are largely controlled at the school and college level, according to the report.

The manner in which the schools and colleges use the funds they collect is also outlined in the report. Across schools and colleges, the funds are used in eight main areas: undergraduate financial aid, salaries, administrative costs, equipment, “participation,” “fringe,” graduate and law school fellowships and on facilities.

Undergraduate financial aid is the largest use of funds for schools and colleges, with 24.1 percent of revenue going to it, according to the report. Meanwhile, 23.4 percent of the funds are used on salaries, which include salaries for all full- and part-time staff and faculty in schools and colleges as well as salaries for graduate assistants.

The last section of the report includes information on how the decisions are made for spending the money. The classifications in that section are the result of an analysis by the budget committee with input from the budget office, deans and budget directors within schools and colleges.

According to the report, funds used on undergraduate student financial aid are centrally administered, as are funds used for administrative costs, according to the report. On the other hand, revenue that goes toward salaries and fellowships for graduate and law school students is decided at the level of each school and college, the report states.

The report was prepared by 13 members of the budget committee, with assistance from Interim Director of Budget and Planning Cynthia Carnahan and Interim Chief Financial Officer Gwenn Judge.

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