Office of the Dean
Valerie S. Ashby, Ph.D., Dean of Trinity College

Memo from the Dean - 8/25/2015 - Financial Update

August 25, 2016

Dear Faculty and Staff,

I am writing to provide a brief financial update for the college. I am pleased to report we were able to close the FY15/16 year in July with a relatively small deficit of $365k and did not have to borrow against our reserve, as planned. This significant accomplishment is a direct result of cultivating more revenue in areas where we are able to do so.

You may recall from last year’s budget memo that at the start of 2015/2016, we were anticipating a significant budget deficit of $4.4 million. Our plan, with approval of the Provost, was to draw from several reserve accounts in order to bring our total anticipated deficit down to $1.1 million—which we hoped to address through revenue. As you will see below, our revenue return was greater than expected for several reasons.

Revenues
Below is a summary of what made the difference for us:

Continuing Studies contributed a $801K favorable balance towards our budget deficit, mainly through increased enrollments in the Summer Academy program, Youth Programs and our Professional Certificate programs. We were able to enroll more students because more residential space was available than was originally expected Thank you to Dean Paula Gilbert and her team.

Summer Session contributed a $824K favorable balance towards our budget by increasing student enrollment, a significant increase in Summer College for high school students, and reducing our faculty instructional costs by offering a smaller number of courses and thereby concentrating more students in each course. Once again, thank you to Dean Paula Gilbert and her team.

Global Education contributed $1.6M favorable towards the budget, created in part by higher enrollments in summer abroad programs, a very favorable exchange rate particularly in the Euro, and no significant international incidents with our programs. Thank you to Executive Director Amanda Kelso and her team.
 
Cost Recovery from Research Grants
Overall, our cost recovery for facilities and administrative (F&As) from sponsored federal research grants continues to lag. We fell short of our F&A budget goal for FY15/16 by $509K. You are all aware of how challenging and competitive the funding climate is right now for our researchers. 

I encourage faculty to take advantage of the college’s new policies aimed at supporting research productivity, such as establishing discretionary accounts as a buffer against funding gaps; bridge funding; and course buyouts. Additionally, please take full advantage of our Office of Research Development, http://admin.trinity.duke.edu/research-development) for proposal support. We need to ensure that we are maximizing each proposal submission.

Outlook for FY16/17 Fiscal Year
We now project an initial budget deficit of $6.5 million for 2016/2017. With approval of the Provost, we plan to draw from several of our own reserve accounts to enact a “one time” budget fix, bringing our total anticipated deficit down to $1.7 million.

I want to thank Finance & Administration Vice Dean Sandy Connolly, her team, and departmental business managers across the school for their ongoing efforts to help us achieve financial sustainability as a school.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or comments.

Sincerely,

Valerie S. Ashby
Dean of Trinity College of Arts & Sciences