Shoutbox was discussing rumor of declining enrollment and budget for this year. This is from the chancellor’s convocation address:
One of the major challenges that will face us this year relates to our budget which will be
perhaps the most constrained of any since the Great Recession. Part of why we will have a
constrained budget this year is related to changes mandated by the General Assembly in how
enrollment change funds are calculated and then allocated to the campuses by the UNC System
Office. Converting over from a methodology based on projected enrollments to one based on actua enrollments has meant that there is a one-year “gap” year in which no new enrollment increase
monies are distributed to any campus. New enrollment funding will not be available until the fall
But the more significant concern with respect to our budget relates to our actual enrollment
this fall and moving into spring. Beginning in the days immediately following the shooting, about
160 students who had previously told us that they intended to enroll at UNC Charlotte in the fall
decided to go elsewhere. It doesn’t seem possible to conclude that anything other than the shooting on April 30 caused these students and their parents to rethink their plans. Although we extended our enrollment commitment deadline from May 1 to May 15, we also saw other institutions opening up their waitlists for additional students. And for reasons we do not yet fully understand, the enrollment of new transfer students has declined.
Overall, when all the numbers are in, we expect our enrollment to be down significantly
from last fall. That has a consequence both for the amount of tuition and fee revenue we’ll be able
to collect this year, but also the appropriation that will be calculated next fall on the actual
enrollments we have at that time.
Obviously, this situation is one we want to both monitor and understand as it will affect
our recruitment strategy for spring of 2020 and the following fall semester. We will also want to
understand the budgetary consequences and to develop options for managing a shortfall. I think
most of you know that we have relied significantly upon enrollment increase dollars to fund a
variety of initiatives, including the allocation of more than $29.4M to augment employee salaries
in the absence of significant state-funded salary increases, and the use of enrollment dollars for
one-time uses such as facility repair and renovation. For instance, from FY13 to FY 17, we spent nearly $80 million on repair and renovation projects. Using our carryforward authority of
enrollment increase funding and other one-time savings from our operating budget, the campus
funded nearly $66M (84.6%) of these needs, with the state funding only about $13M (16.4%).