Recap: Finance and Audit Committee and Board of Trustees February Meetings
February 15, 2021
The University of Northern Colorado’s Finance and Audit Committee and Board of Trustees both met last week to discuss a range of topics and updates regarding the university.
Finance and Audit Committee Meeting
The Finance and Audit Committee met on Thursday, Feb. 11, and discussed an intercollegiate athletics financial report, enrollment update, second quarter (Q2) financial report and federal funding update, and fiscal year (FY) 2022 tuition and fees:
Intercollegiate Athletics Financial Report
UNC General Accounting Controller Ashley Bishop presented the FY2020 intercollegiate athletics financial report, a routine annual audit to affirm UNC’s compliance with NCAA bylaws. Overall revenue for FY2020 was down by around $320,000 due to COVID-19 impacts and a decrease in distribution from the NCAA and Big Sky Conference.
UNC Assistant Vice President for Enrollment Management Kim Medina presented an update on enrollment. According to UNC’s spring 2021 census, there are approximately 7,079 undergraduates enrolled for the spring 2021 semester, a 13% decrease compared to last spring. Also, there are 2,735 graduate students enrolled for the spring 2021 semester, a 1% increase compared to last spring. Overall, there are 9,814 students enrolled at UNC for the spring 2021 semester.
Medina also touched on retention rates where 86% of first-time, full time students were retained from the fall 2020 semester to the spring 2021 semester. Also, UNC projects that there will be an estimated 7,850 undergraduate students in the fall 2021 semester census, a projected 3.5% decrease. For graduate students, it’s anticipated there will be little to no change in fall 2021 enrollment.
The number of new undergraduate students expected to enroll in the coming fall semester is up compared to the fall 2020 semester with specific increases in first-year students, students of color and in all colleges at UNC. The State of Colorado’s and UNC’s own Free App Days throughout the year have had positive impacts on these projected increases.
COVID-19 continues to impact student admissions and finances in higher-education institutions throughout the country since last year. There’s been a 10% decrease in FAFSA applications nationwide and a high-school graduation rate increase of less than 1% in a highly competitive market.
FY2021 Second Quarter Financial Report and Federal Funding
The initial financial outlook for the FY2021 budget projected the use of $6 million of operating reserves, in addition to the implemented cost-savings initiatives of $17.3 million in order to offset the shortfall in revenues. An update estimates about $2.6 million of reserves being used at the end of Q2.
Although the overall outlook for FY21 has improved, it’s important to acknowledge that revenues have been reduced by an additional $1.4 million for a total revenue shortfall from budget of $2.7 million, primarily due to COVID-19 impacts. However, the decreased activity, mix of in-person and remote services and travel restrictions have all contributed to additional expense savings.
Forecasted expenditures have been reduced by $2.1 million following Q2, for a total reduction in expenditures of $7.3 million as compared to the budget. The net impact on the expected operating outflows has improved by $1.4 million to a net improvement of $3.4 million as compared to budget.
In December the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSAA) was signed into law and additional funding was allocated for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF). The CRRSAA HEERF II funding that UNC received was $12.6 million, with $3.8 million to be provided directly to students, and the remaining $8.8 million for institutional use.
Excluding any potential impact of the HEERF II funding, the university’s cash position is projected to be at $46.3 million at the end of the fiscal year, which is $3.8 million more than the FY2019 ending cash position of $42.5 million. The cash position continues to improve as an ongoing result of the institution’s commitment to strengthening the budget prior to, and despite, the pandemic’s impacts, and that work must continue in order to improve UNC’s liquidity and ensure financial stability as we look to the future.
FY22 Tuition and Fee Preliminary Discussion
The undergraduate gross tuition and fee revenue for FY2021 is projected to be $86.5 million: 78% from tuition, 18% from mandatory fees, 2% from program-specific differential tuition and 2% from academic fees. The tuition for a full-time-equivalent undergraduate resident for FY2021 is $7,596, and the total of mandatory fees is $2,465, with an overall total of $10,061. Compared to FY2020, there was a less than 1% increase in the total tuition and fees at UNC for undergraduate students.
During this preliminary discussion, various FY2021-22 pricing scenarios were shared with no decision being made about possible tuition and fee increases until the Board of Trustees’ meeting in June. Three rate-change scenarios were shared, including 3%, 5% and 7% increases:
Tuition and fees for graduate and doctoral students differ from undergraduate rates by being determined in numerous tiers. A preliminary discussion on having a 3% increase in tuition and fees for those tiers was also discussed.
The next steps in determining the 2021-22 tuition and fees pricing involves refining scenarios as the state funding picture evolves, having additional campus conversations, presenting further options and recommendations to the Board of Trustees in May, and then having the Board of Trustees deciding on a scenario in June.
Board of Trustees Meeting
The Board of Trustees met on Friday, Feb. 12, and provided updates on Rowing Not Drifting 2030, Board Policy Manual amendment and other topics:
Rowing Not Drifting 2030
During the November 2020 Board of Trustees meeting, UNC President Andy Feinstein shared the university’s progress in developing a set of key actions and tactics for the first two-year phase of the strategic plan. After gathering feedback from the trustees and campus community, the Phase 1 key action plan was updated and presented during the meeting.
FY2020 Audited Financial Statements
In fiscal year 2020, UNC received funding through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic
Security (CARES) Act. The university received direct CARES funding of $7.6 million from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), 50% of which must be used to provide emergency grants to students impacted by the coronavirus. The remaining 50% is to “cover any costs associated with significant changes to the delivery of instruction due to the coronavirus.” UNC also received $24.8 million in pass-through CARES funding from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF) allocated by Governor Jared Polis.
Highlights for the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2020 include:
- University assets total $380.1 million, deferred outflows of resources total $9.1 million, liabilities total $312.8 million and deferred inflows of resources total $55.6 million, which resulted in a net position of $20.8 million.
- Net position increased $45.5 million on the statement of revenues, expenses and changes in net position. The increase in net position is partly due to the change in UNC’s net pension
liability that decreased $28.8 million from FY2019-20.
- Total operating revenues of $195.5 million, less total operating expenses of $175.4 million, resulted in a net operating gain of $20.1 million.
Updates were also provided by UNC’s Classified Staff Council, Professional Administrative Staff Council and Student Senate.
—Written by Katie Corder