According to the NC State academic calendar, Aug. 21 marks NC State’s census day, the last day for students to get tuition refunds if they drop a course or change from credit to audit. University administration typically begins finalizing department budgets for the semester after census day passes.
Technician interviewed Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration Charles Maimone for information on the University’s budget for this semester and how COVID-19 may change NC State’s finances. Here is a quick rundown of the information:
What departments are cutting budgets? By how much? Why?
According to Maimone, academic budgets are not expected to be reduced.
Auxiliary services, such as housing, dining, the McKimmon Center, parking and transportation, will experience shortfalls in revenue with reduced numbers of people on campus, especially if the University eventually transitions to online-only education. “Those are the budgets that have the greatest pressure on them,” Maimone said.
Could the University moving to all distance education change what students are paying?
“At the beginning of the semester, we were really advised by the [UNC] System office that tuition and fees would not be reimbursed once we started the fall semester,” Maimone said. “When I say fees, I mean mandatory fees, not all fees, but just mandatory fees. And so we made that clear when folks signed up for their classes, be they online, hybrid or in person, that the tuition and fees would remain the same.”
In the event students have to vacate their on-campus housing, they will be reimbursed for various service fees, including housing, dining, parking and transportation.
Are people being laid off right now from the University?
“We have not laid anyone off,” Maimone said. “But, to be clear, we have not hired a lot of people back. So, we anticipated revenue shortfalls in a lot of areas and they have, in essence, come true: housing and dining, parking, transportation.”
Budget plans are due from all departments to Maimone by the end of August. Afterwards, their budgets will be finalized.
Many contracts are likely to be renegotiated as a result of the budget plans.
“My time frame for the auxiliary enterprises and rightsizing budgets is the August and September time period, to make all of our decisions about that for the fall,” Maimone said.
So, “auxiliary” would not include academic faculty?
According to Maimone: “There would be no reason, actually, for us to reduce faculty positions at this time. And many of the academic support programs that are funded by tuition — general tuition and state appropriations — again, there’s no reason to actually reduce those because we have the need. The demand is there for the courses.”