An analysis done by Howard Bunsis, professor of accounting at Eastern Michigan University, reveals Colorado State University-Pueblo may be facing less financial hardship than previously thought.
In the report sent to faculty on Dec. 23, Bunsis looked at financial statements from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and at CSU-Pueblo’s Statement of Revenues, Expenses and Changes in Net Position worksheet. His general conclusion was that “the loss of staff is not necessary.”
More specifically, Bunsis found that the documents report a decline in tuition revenue from 2012 to 2013, which has been stated by CSU System officials. However, revenues remained the same.
He said the 2013-2014 operating budget has increased nearly 4.5 percent. In a phone interview he commented, “If it’s so bad, why are total revenues increasing?”
CSU System Director of Public Relations Kyle Henley has said they haven’t seen the results at all, and President Lesley Di Mare is not on campus until Friday and was unable to confirm the CSU System did not receive the report.
Bunsis stated that even though tuition revenue took an estimated drop from $30.3 million to $28.8 million, the total growth of total revenue could cover the difference.
“The actual $5 million deficit is due to an increase in expenses,” Bunsis wrote in a Dec. 22 email to Jonathan Rees, CSU-Pueblo history professor and American Association of University Professors Colorado Conference co-president. “My big problem is with institutional support, which increased from $2.859 million to $3.293 million from 2012 to 2013. Why is upper level admin going up so much? And how can they ask faculty to be laid off given these increases in admin costs?”
Also alarming, Bunsis said, was a non-operating expense, which was nearly $3.2 million for 2014 but only $25,000 in 2013.
“Without this $3 million item, the total difference between revenues and expenses is only $2 million,” Bunsis said. “It’s a major red flag.”
Lowering inflated administration costs would significantly alleviate financial problems, he added. “The big picture here is that the loss of staff is not necessary.”
The CSU-Pueblo chapter of the AAUP asked Bunsis to do the report because he is also the chair of collective bargaining with the organization, which highly discourages layoffs at universities.