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FY2024 budget prioritization information from President Marrero

Dec. 14, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

As we complete the fall 2022 semester, I want to provide you with an update of our FY2024 Budget Prioritization process. Over the past four months, we have communicated by emails and in various presentations to engage our institution in a transparent budget prioritization and development process.

The timeline and process provided opportunities for each level of the institution to be involved, and it required leadership to communicate prioritization decisions at each stage of the process – from departmental and unit discussions in August/September to prioritization decisions at the college, major unit, and divisional levels, to the submission of our FY2024 documents to the University System Office on November 14. To that end, we have completed the FY2024 budget prioritization and recommendations and have provided the following document links via the MyGeorgiaSouthern Portal in the tile called “Performance Excellence,” under the heading of FY2024 Budget Planning Documents:

  1. FY2024 Budget Narrative.
  2. FY2024 Budget Data Sheets (includes Enrollment Trends, Academic & Financial Aid Data, Financial Trends, Employee Data, Auxiliary & Student Accounts).
  3. FY2024 Education & General Budget Planning (includes the new fund budget prioritization detail and the budget redirection worksheet).

As you remember from previous communications, with growth from FY20 to FY21, we realized a formula increase of $3M recurring for this year, FY2023. Knowing we were facing enrollment declines this fall 2022, we invested $1.1M in new critical positions (see FY2023 budget documents for detail), and held back $1.9M recurring to mitigate current year budgetary reductions due to projected fall 2022 enrollment decline.

Our actual fall 2022 enrollment of 25,506 represented a 5.89% decline, resulting in estimated revenue decreases of $6.9M in tuition and $1.85M of mandatory fee auxiliary revenue. Our strategic reduction process began initially by creating divisional targets based on each division’s relative percentage of the overall budget and continued with review and cross divisional collaborations of resources (people, functions, and shared funding) that helped resolve and fulfill the prioritized recurring reduction goals and identify opportunities for redirection. The outcome of this process identified the elimination of 66 vacant positions (29 faculty, 37 staff) totaling $3,783,192, operational reductions/efficiencies ($1,297,428), and the aforementioned $1.9M held back from the FY2023 formula growth allocation.

As we plan for FY 2024, fortunately, due to enrollment and credit hour production increase from FY21 to FY22, Georgia Southern will have a nominal recurring formula funding allocation increase beginning FY 2024. Additionally, we are targeting a slight increase in enrollment of 1% for the Fall 2023 semester, with a headcount goal of 25,800, which, if achieved, will provide a supplemental increase to our tuition and fee revenue.

Our budget priorities, as represented in the template for FY 2024, were: a) the funding of lines/positions deemed critical to achieving our strategic goals and b) recurring funding of salary market equity (with an updated market equity salary study completed by Segal in late fall of 2022). As stated earlier in this communication, an essential part of our FY2024 strategic budgeting process was the internal direction of resources toward strategic priorities. Through strategic assessment of additional current vacant positions, operational efficiencies gained through the implementation of Robotic Process Automation and organizational efficiencies, and internal redirection of resources toward strategic priorities ($4.8M – 60 additional positions redirected), we achieved the directed and essential part of our FY2024 strategic budget process as documented in the narrative. Thus, our request as presented would be funded by new formula allocation based on growth and any redirected revenue realized in this current fiscal year.

In result, we identified four positions, three faculty and one staff, totaling $581,000, and $419,000 in salary market equity increases for a total FY 2024 request of $1M recurring. The positions requested align directly with our expansion of market aligned programs – logistics supply chain, management, and health professions – and the staff position will fill a need at the student accessibility resource center. Finally, we are committed to the recruitment and retention of an ever-competitive workforce in requesting and implementing continuous improvement in our market salary equity plan. The salary study will be completed this fall (Segal Consulting) and will provide new and recurring market salary benchmarks with an expanded list of peer institutions. We see this as a multi-year plan with dedicated recurring resources as each budget year allows.

These identified budgetary priorities will be determined once we have a clearer picture of the FY 2024 landscape and enrollment progress for fall 2023. Remember, there are only three possible sources for new recurring funding for new priorities and/or reduction recovery: redirection of current resources, enrollment growth (which we did have in FY 2021-22) and/or a nominal tuition increase request for FY 2024 (this is ultimately a Board of Regents decision and not likely for FY24).

We will continue to provide presentations to faculty, staff and students at their senate, council and association meetings over the coming months. The final FY 2024 budget will not be realized until the end of the legislative session late March and allocated in April of 2023 for implementation July 1, 2023. In addition, we need to start preparing for what will be a formula reduction in FY 2025 based on enrollment decline this fiscal year. We will keep everyone up to date as there are other variables that will affect our FY 2024 and FY 2025 recurring budgets, including any projected/realized enrollment growth and the state of Georgia revenue collections/estimates, which affect the overall state budget and could impact formula funding.

Questions specific to any of these reductions or new funding prioritizations should be addressed within your divisional leadership. I want to thank everyone who engaged in our budget prioritization process that evidenced strategic and transparent decision-making. It is a testament to our process that we were able to resolve our budget reductions and invest in our priorities!


Last updated: 12/14/2022