Spring 2019 Budget and Salary Overview

Filed Under: President's Post, Featured Articles

The combination of $4.6 million in state appropriations and additional funding from the 2.84 percent increase in tuition allowed the University to fund several initiatives this year. For the first time since 2012, market adjustments based on the University’s compensation plan were partially implemented effective Oct. 1, 2018. Other items funded were:

  • 1.5 percent across-the-board increase— or $500, whichever is greater—effective July 1, 2018
  • Faculty promotions
  • Increased cost of software maintenance agreements
  • Scholarships, tuition discounts, employee fee waivers and dependent discounts, and graduate assistant fee waivers
  • Funding for new startup programs and continuing improvements on the MTSU Quest for Student Success initiatives
Looking toward the 2019–20 fiscal year, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) is recommending operating state appropriations of $107.7 million for MTSU. This is a $4.5 million increase, or 4.4 percent, over 2018–19. This net increase is a combination of a decrease of $1.5 million in outcomes formula adjustments and a $6 million increase in proposed new funding for higher education.

The most exciting news is that MTSU has a new capital outlay project proposed for funding in 2019–20. No. 3 on THEC’s capital project list is the new School of Concrete and Construction Management building, which has a total project cost of $40.1 million. This project is No. 1 among the six locally governed universities. In addition to the 54,000-square-foot building, the funding also includes an addition to the Satellite Chiller Plant and demolition of Abernathy and Ezell halls in order to prepare the site for development. With such a high ranking of this project by THEC, we are optimistic the project will be included in the governor’s budget and funded in the upcoming fiscal year.

The commission also voted to recommend $10.1 million in capital maintenance funds for MTSU projects, which includes several buildings roof replacements; Kirksey Old Main mechanical, HVAC, fire protection, lighting, and ceiling upgrades; Stark Ag / Police mechanical and HVAC upgrades; campus stormwater best management practices (BMP) Phase 1; sidewalk repair/replacement Phase 1; and boiler replacement at Miller Education Center.

THEC’s recommendations have been submitted to the Department of Finance and Administration for consideration in the proposed state budget that Gov.-elect Bill Lee will be submitting to the state legislature in late February. At that point, we will have more information regarding our likely 2019–20 state and capital appropriations.

In December, MTSU Board of Trustees Chair Steve Smith, Vice Chair Darrell Freeman, and Alan Thomas, vice president for business and finance, went before the State Education, Health and General Welfare Joint Subcommittee of Government Operations for our Sunset Hearing as required by state statue. Initially, the Board of Trustees was established for a two-year period ending this upcoming June 30. The hearing’s purpose was for the subcommittee to review MTSU’s answers to questions issued by the Comptroller’s Office auditors to determine whether the Board of Trustees should be continued, restructured, or terminated. The subcommittee approved MTSU’s Board of Trustees until June 30, 2021.
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