EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - The University of Southern Indiana Board of Trustees approved an operating budget worth $113.9 million for the 2020-21 academic year on Thursday.
This announcement comes after the board previously passed an interim budget back in May, which ensured that staff would be paid in full through the end of the calendar year.
The newly approved budget number is more than $6 million less than last year’s budget. USI campus leaders say the shortfall is because of the 7% reduction in state funding, and lower numbers in enrollment and credit hour production, which is the University’s top two funding sources.
USI President Dr. Ronald Rochon says this budget provides a commitment to pay all facility and staff through June 30, 2021.
However, the budget deficit is absorbed in three key areas, including unfilled employee openings with salaries and benefits, supply and expense reductions, as well as travel savings.
The University is expected to feel the impact from the 2020 fall semester for the next four years, as the freshman class works through senior year. In an effort to address future budget needs, Dr. Rochon is creating a committee made up of faculty, staff and administration, which he says will help represent the campus community.
14 News reached out to campus leaders for an interview with Dr. Rochon, but we were told he was unavailable.
The USI president released the following statement in a press release on Thursday afternoon:
“The approval of our 2020-21 budget allows us to continue to offer security for our employees as we provide ongoing academic excellence and services to our students. With this budget, we are committing to paying all faculty and staff in full through June 30, 2021, the end of our fiscal year. Our employees have made sacrifices and worked hard to keep this University on solid footing during the pandemic. We can now look to the future as we build upon the success of our collective campus effort to remain a strong and vibrant institution.”