Campus Budget Message, Nov. 8, 2019

Dear Campus Community:

As we continue our budget realignment process, I’m writing today to help answer some questions that faculty and staff have been asking.

As you know, divisions across campus have been asked to establish strategic goals aligned with university priorities and to begin budget planning for both state and self-support funds. Each executive level will submit a budget plan in accordance with a 3% realignment goal by January 17, 2020. After Budget Services summarizes the information, we will hold hearings with division heads and deans to review plans and requests. The University Budget Committee will then hold public campus forums to gather input regarding the proposed budget.

The 3% budget realignment, totaling $3.5 million across the institution, will offset the $2.5 million in enrollment impact, as well as support $1 million in financial aid for our student-athletes.

The EWU athletics department, like all university athletics programs, is a business operation that produces revenue in a number of ways—through tickets sales, media rights, endorsements, fundraising, and so on. The EWU athletics revenue has been increasing as the program has become increasingly successful. Nonetheless, like the vast majority of university athletics programs nationwide, Eastern’s program also receives support from university resources.

Athletics was assigned a 3% cut of university support last year and will need to take another 3% cut along with the rest of the university this coming year. The $1 million in financial aid is directly supporting our student-athletes as many are not on full scholarships and more than 92 student-athletes receive no scholarship aid at all.

My goal for the future is that fundraising will increasingly help to bridge the gap between university expenses and the revenue we receive from state funding and student tuition. Like other universities, Eastern is working hard to increase fundraising from private and corporate donors so that we can continue maintaining academic quality and supporting students’ success while keeping tuition affordable

Eastern has already seen tremendous growth in our fundraising efforts: we’ve had two consecutive record-breaking fundraising years. FY19 fundraising doubled that of FY18, thanks to a $5 million gift from Avista and McKinstry for the Catalyst initiative.

The recent announcement of a $5 million gift to help renovate our stadium has spurred a number of donors to immediately contact our University Advancement team, expressing interest in supporting other areas across campus.

While the stadium gift garnered a lot of attention, support for scholarships, academic programs, classroom equipment, and student services has increased dramatically. Money raised this fiscal year for academic programs has already exceeded $5 million, including two individual pledges of $1.5 million each to help support Education, Mechanical Engineering, Technology, and Honors.

You have all heard me say that we live in tumultuous times for public higher education. However, Eastern is uniquely positioned to remain strong and successful by being nimble and working collaboratively. As we move through the budgeting process, I ask that we support one another in our efforts to serve our students and the communities we serve.

Our work together will provide our students with the education they need from the educators they want for many years to come.

I hope you find this information helpful. Thank you again for all you do for Eastern.

Mary Cullinan


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