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Financial State of UNH

By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
July 25, 2007

The university needs to have “hard conversations’ about the ways it can change its revenue streams to maintain a healthy balance, finance officials said during a forum held Tuesday on UNH’s $450-plus million operating budget.

Dick Cannon, vice president for finance and administration and Dave Proulx, assistant vice president for financial planning and budgeting, provided a detailed outline of income and appropriations during the first of two meetings aimed at providing an overview of the university’s economic health. The second session is set for October.

UNH’s ranking as the lowest state funded four-year public institution, escalating health insurance costs, increasing financial need of students, maintaining facilities and a slow down in research funding are examples of pressures the university faces, Cannon said, adding there is a need to make an investment in fundraising.

“It becomes a question about balance,” Cannon said. “There are tremendous demands on us to do more with less. One picture would suggest we’re in pretty good balance but we have to be able maintain that balance.”

He spoke of the concern regarding the amount of debt UNH students are taking on and the reliance on the tuition dollars of non-resident students, which accounts for 57 percent of the revenue.

“In the years ahead, we need to have conversations about keeping our balance with the (USNH board of) trustees, with the state, “Cannon said.

Those attending the forum asked questions related to using UNH building and assets more fully, distance learning and the drag certain departments place on the university.

The bottom line, Cannon and Proulx said, is that UNH has a major financial challenge to address; the solution will require the participation of all UNH constituents and, no single strategy can solve the problem.

The next forum takes place Oct. 23, from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm in the MUB Theatre 1.

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