MU faces 2 percent budget cut

After conducting a review of the national and worldwide financial outlook for higher education, Marquette has asked departments to reduce or return 2 percent of this year’s budget.

Andy Brodzeller, a senior communication specialist at Marquette, said the budget cuts are a response to various external reports that predict higher education institutions will face considerable revenue challenges due to factors including the reduction of family wealth and income.

“Marquette is not immune to the global pressures felt by all universities,” Brodzeller said. “To continue our responsible management, departments have been asked to reduce or return 2 percent of this year’s budget. The university will continue to plan and budget for next fiscal year throughout the remainder of the semester.”

Among the reports that indicate a difficult future for higher education is the 2013 report from Moody’s Investors Service. For 2013, Moody’s projected a shift from “stable” to “negative” growth for the higher education industry. Moody’s attributes this negative outlook to anticipated federal budget cuts, increased risk of more regulation and accreditation sanctions, the suppression of net tuition growth, the exhaustion of non-tuition revenue sources, rising student loans and the continued perceived devaluation of college degrees.

According to a survey conducted by Moody’s, 18 percent of its private university and 15 percent of its public university respondents project a decline in net tuition revenue.

Pilarz cited Moody’s findings in a Feb. 14 email to the Marquette community when he announced that university leadership authorized a 2 percent raise for the 2013 salary pool. According to the email, managers will draw from these pools when deciding on individual raises for the 2013 fiscal year.

In his email, Pilarz emphasized the need for economic stewardship.

“We cannot avoid new realities that are putting pressure on university budgets nationwide,” Pilarz said.

Vice President of Finance John “Chuck” Lamb said the cuts would not affect student financial aid or Marquette Student Government. Lamb said financial aid would see an increase of 7.2 percent, or $7.7 million, in the 2013 fiscal year.