UW Trustees Vote to Approve Budget
The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees has approved expenditures totaling just over $462 million for the 2017-2018 fiscal year after two rounds of reductions brought on by a $42 million decrease in state funding.
The board voted yesterday on the FY 2018 budget, which is the first to be created under UW’s new fiscal management system, according to a UW news release. This included the significant unspent cash balances across various UW accounts, which the board decided to manage in a more centralized fashion.
The board approved the full funding of a $50 million operating reserve and a $20 million capital facilities reserve. The board authorized the creation of those reserve accounts last year and will fund them from the unspent cash balances across campus units.
An additional $62.15 million remains after the creation of the reserve funds and the board voted to use 80 percent, or $49.72 million, of that amount to create centralized reserve and sinking funds. Those include a $1 million account to save money for replacement of UW’s passenger aircraft with annual contributions of $140,000 to follow, a permanent risk pool/litigation reserve fund of $5 million, which the board says is almost fully funded already and account for the replacement of UW residence halls funded with an initial $14 million.
It also includes an endowment fund to generate revenues for one-time employee compensation increases, including bonuses and recruitment and retention payments. It’s funded by and initial $7.4 million and is expected to generate about $400,000 annually.
A special projects reserve/sinking fund “to fund such programs, expense and other matters deemed important and necessary,” by the university was also approved and the expected initial funding from FY 2018 revenues is $11.78 million.
Chris Boswell, UW’s vice president of governmental and community affairs, said the creation of reserve and sinking funds gives some direction from trustees as to where the centralized and reserves might be targeted.
“It gives folks, including the trustees, an idea of how to go about making use of the reserves which have been accumulated from the hundreds of accounts across campus for the university benefit,” Boswell said.
Boswell said the reserve accounts are all starting points and nothing in the budget came fully funded.