Financial Master Plan
[posted January 28, 2004]
To meet the expectations of our legislature and trustees the University of Massachusetts Amherst presents the following five year plan. This plan builds on the mission and strategy articulated for this campus in The Academic Imperative, available on-line at www.umass.edu/inauguration/media/transcript.pdf.
Money is the essential element for university success. No university succeeds without adequate financial resources to pay people, build and maintain facilities, acquire materials, support student activities, and sustain service activities for its larger community. Universities have an obligation to spend money effectively, but no university succeeds without adequate resources.
The budget summary included below outlines the major sources and uses of revenue for the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This presentation provides the past three years of actual performance and a projection for the next five years, beginning with the current year’s budget. Although the numbers speak for themselves, some comments may prove helpful.
The state of Massachusetts has a primary obligation to provide the baseline funding that sustains its state university. This baseline funding does not come close to providing the resources necessary to sustain a first rank public research campus like UMass Amherst, but state support does make possible quality instruction for Massachusetts resident students at rates well below the equivalent private sector cost. The state’s contribution to UMass Amherst has been in decline for some years as the fiscal circumstances of the Commonwealth have deteriorated. At the present time, state funding does not cover the full cost of staff and instructional employee salaries, let alone the budget for operations and maintenance of the campus. As a proportion of the university’s total all-funds budget, the state’s contribution for the year 2004 is projected to be about 25%.
As the flagship campus for the University of Massachusetts, Amherst has a major research responsibility. The data below outline the revenue received for research from external organizations, and over the next five years, we anticipate that this amount will grow by about 5% a year. However, the success of the campus in achieving this growth will depend on the availability of state and campus support for various types of matching funds. Throughout the United States, universities compete for research grants through a peer review process that validates both the quality of the research proposed AND the strength of the institution’s research support base. The research support base requires matching funds from the state or institution in addition to grant funds for almost all research projects, and where the investments are substantial for capital or facilities, most grant agencies seek significant dedicated state funding for particular projects. When making the final choice among several highly qualified projects, federal agencies in particular will often provide the award to the academically qualified project with the strongest institutional and state support. Consequently, because the projections presented here show no growth in state support for research to the Amherst campus, the growth of external funding will also be restrained to no more than 5% a year.
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