University budget continues unfinalized


Nicole Girgen

Scott Ellinghuysen, the vice president for finance and administration services and chief financial officer, explains the projections for the 2020 fiscal year budget on Thursday, April 18 in the Haake Conference Room. The forum was open to students and faculty and presented a rough outline of the 2019-20 school year.

Kristin Kovalsky, News Reporter

On Thursday, April 18 a budget forum was held that detailed the budget for Winona State University for the upcoming year.

The budget has not been finalized at this time.

The budget is being based off of the previous year’s budget of $90 million.

Scott Ellinghuysen, vice president for finance and administration services and CFO, said 78% of the budget is allocated to the staff at the university to pay them and for fringe benefits, 2% is directed toward student employment and the remaining 20% goes towards managing the university as a whole.

The budget for the university is determined by members of the Minnesota House and Senate.

“[The system] office and the board has what’s called an allocation model,” Ellinghuysen said. “So, when the money comes from the legislature, when they appropriate the money to the system, it goes to that system office first. They run it through this allocation model which is really just a big, huge excel spreadsheet with like 15 different tabs, it drives out a number that goes out to each campus.”

Winona State is working with legislators to maintain a freeze on tuition for another two years.

Ellinghuysen said if a tuition freeze does not get passed, tuition will raise 3%. The 3% raise equals $7.32 per credit, which translates to $221.30 annually for a student taking fifteen credits per semester.

$600,000 was added to the Winona State’s budget for Education Village, opening fall semester of 2019.

Ellinghuysen said that the money is going towards the staff of Education Village, as well as to maintain the building.

It is uncertain whether cuts will need to be made in order to accommodate the budget.

Denise McDowell, vice president for enrollment management and student life, said finding priorities for spending first is key.

“The thing we need to look at is what are the priorities, what are the must-haves and what are the nice-to-haves,” McDowell said. “And those things that are a must-have are priorities and we want to preserve those, no matter what, even if that means us looking at external funding with grants and other opportunities.”

Student enrollment and tuition are factors that go into the budget.

“Enrollment is an influencer based on the number of students we bring in as far as new entering freshmen, the number of new entering transfer students we bring in, the number of new entering graduate students we bring in, but more importantly the number of students we retain is really a primary driver as well,” McDowell said.

At this time, there is no specific date where the budget will become finalized.