NAU’s Budget Faces $11 Million Shortfall Due To Lacking Enrollment

Having missed its target enrollment by at least 800 tuition-paying students for this year, Northern Arizona University is facing $11 million in lost tuition and fees that have already been allocated.

Comprising of 40 percent of NAU’s revenue, student tuition and fees were lacking this year because of a drop in both enrollment and retention.

Across the university, departments must work towards returning the $11 million in funds prior to June in order to avoid ending the fiscal year with a deficit.

Bjorn Flugstad, vice president for the university budget office, said in a statement that he and members of the executive team have been visiting departments “to determine what non-personnel monies could be spared, what plans and programs we can hold off on and what funds are not yet encumbered.”

According to NAU spokesperson Kim Ott, the budget projection was made in spring 2018 based on anticipated revenues and expenditures and must now be upheld within all areas of the university.

“Based upon projections reported to the Arizona Board of Regents in November, the university must operate within a lower level of resources available for this fiscal year,” she told the Daily Sun. “This year, NAU will adjust to the reduced revenue, which amounts to approximately 1.5 percent of NAU’s overall $627 million budget.”

Since the news was announced at the end of the fall 2018 semester to department heads, the costly miscalculation has become headline news.

Many faculty members and employees were left in fear of losing their jobs.

Deans of various colleges have assured their teams that although returning these funds is not optional, the goal is to maintain all current employees.