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Eisler holds budget forum, asks community for input

Although it did not appear to be a major issue initially, declining student credit hours will result in a $2.1 million budget cut.

“We will adjust our budget and do this in a fashion that protects our students,” Ferris State University President David EIsler said.

Eisler addressed the university budget and factors affecting the current financial situation at recent budget forums.

The reductions only impacted the Big Rapids budget, where the student credit hour decline is present. Student credit hours and tuition revenue for areas outside Big Rapids campus this fall, like Kendall College, are up.

Out of the $200 million budget, the $2.1 milllion cut is slightly more than one percent.

The budget cut impact on the university is expected to be minimal if student credit hours in Big Rapids do not continue to decline. If revenues for spring semester increase from a year ago, the amount of reduction will be less than what is currently projected.

“It is our hope there will be a limited effect on students, if any at all,” Eisler said. “No reductions are planned for student financial support from the university.”

Eisler hosted two informational sessions and touched upon federal and state higher education financing. He provided an analysis of the 2012-13 budget and revised projections for the 2013-14 budget.

Eisler also gave a presentation focused on factors that affect the university budget.

According to Eisler’s fall budget forum presentation, the university general fund budget for 2014 is $197.5 million with 23 percent base funding from the state.

“There are not specific targeted areas for the reductions, and one-time funds are used to reduce the immediate impact and spread it over a long period of time,” Eisler said.

Tuition will support a majority of the general fund.

“I am optimistic about our future and hopeful that we will see continued growth,” Eisler said.