$6.9 million determines the price students will pay for an education at Murray State during the next academic year.
At a forum held by Interim President Tim Miller Thursday, the budget for fiscal year 2014-15 was revealed.
Miller said the goal of the forum was to create transparency in the budget review process.
The budget revealed various expenses that have eventually added revenue, saved money or cost the University.
Some of the costs weren’t items students, faculty or staff had seen before.
One expense, titled “Travel for Illinois recruiting,” cost $11,500.
Miller explained this cost was a salary former President Randy Dunn instituted to recruit students in Illinois. Miller said he never met the person or even knew who they were.
“(These costs) were hidden,” Miller said.
Although Miller projects that through enrollment growth and fees, Murray State will make more than $1.6 million in revenue toward the budget, the University would still have a $5.3 million deficit.
Even if $2.5 million is saved in recommended budget cuts, $3.2 million of the deficit would remain.
The final source of revenue Miller and University administration will turn to is an increase in tuition.
Miller said a 1 percent increase would add $700,000 in revenue to the budget. During the forum, he discussed increases of 4 or 5 percent, but said nothing is final yet.
He said a tuition increase would depend on the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education’s decision to put a cap on tuition increases.
The CPE sets a limit on how much a university can raise tuition during an academic year. It will decide on a cap in April.
He said it also depends on Kentucky legislators and whether or not they decide to support a 2.5 percent cut in higher education this year. Gov. Steve Beshear proposed the cut during a budget address in January.
Miller addressed personal concern over the University budget, saying the stateof Kentucky has cut funding and may cap tuition increases at 3 to 4 percent.
“If it’s a 3 percent cap, we’re in trouble,” Miller said. “I mean, we’ll have to eliminate positions at that point.”
Miller also discussed the termination of the 5MR Tennessee Valley Authority contract Murray State has, which allows TVA to ask the University to shut off power within five minutes of a request.
The elimination of this contract is listed as an expenditure pending further review and will be discussed by the Board of Regents.
The budget list also accounts for an increase in minimum wage, which would cost the University $410,000.
Story by Lexy Gross, Editor-in-Chief