Home News Local News ENMU-R reports ‘very good’ 2017-18 financial picture

ENMU-R reports ‘very good’ 2017-18 financial picture

Mireya Trujillo, left, president of the ENMU-R Branch Community College Board, and Patricia Parsons, secretary, listen to discussions about ENMU-R’s finances and its building priorities during a Wednesday meeting. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell is preparing its audit for the past fiscal year, finding a “very good financial picture,” its chief financial officer told board members Wednesday.

Unrestricted revenues for 2017-18 totaled $17,763,895, an increase of $222,676 over the $17,541,219 budgeted for the prior year, according to financial information presented to the ENMU-R Branch Community College Board by Scott Smart, vice president of Business Affairs for the ENMU system.

“That’s a good variance,” he said. “That revenue figure … is about 3 percent higher than what last year’s revenues were.”

In terms of expenditures, the actual unrestricted amount was $16,767,331, $551,595 lower than the $17,318,926 budgeted.

He explained that the expenses were about 4 percent higher than the previous year, which he said needs to be watched. Ideally, he said, expenses should not increase more than 2.5 percent a year.

Support Local Journalism
Subscribe to the Roswell Daily Record today.

He also noted that the $996,564 net difference between revenues and expenses is important to the university.

“We don’t ever want to get in the position where we are spending all of our revenues,” he said, “because those surpluses are reinvested into the campus.”

ENMU-R ended the year with reserves, or surplus, of $4,802,937, about 27 percent of annual revenues.

He said he felt that was a good cushion for the university to keep in case of future state deficits that would require budget cuts or fund returns from state institutions.

ENMU-R also has $10.92 million set aside for capital projects and $6.82 million reserved for replacing or upgrading equipment, infrastructure or other campus needs.

The university is planning to make some significant investments in campus improvements, Smart said.

It will hire an architectural firm to create a master facilities plan by spring 2019 to identify needs and prioritize projects, including determining the requests it will make to the Higher Education Department and the New Mexico Legislature for 2020 general obligation bonds.

In addition to the Automotive and Welding Technology Building renovation and the $4 million construction of a new Physical Plant building, which have been discussed in previous meetings, the university also has identified the need to replace the main electrical supply line to the campus that runs along Mathis Street, which Smart said dates back to when the property was part of the Walker Air Force Base. He characterized the line as outdated and said any problem with the line could cause a lengthy shut-down of the campus.

Replacing the electrical supply is estimated to cost about $1.7 million, with Smart saying that the university should use its own reserves to fund the project if the state will not provide an appropriation for it during the 2019 legislative session. State funding is a strong possibility, he said, given the importance of the electrical system to the campus and expected state budget surpluses. The New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee has indicated in its reports that state revenues for fiscal year 2020 are projected to be up about $1 billion, for a total of about $8.5 billion.

Dr. Shawn Powell, president of ENMU-R, who participated in the meeting by phone, talked of efforts to update the university’s strategic plan starting Oct. 23 that would guide program development, unit and department goals and priorities for the next five years. As part of that effort, Powell and other staff with the university have held three “listen and learn” sessions in the community and on campus to answer questions and obtain ideas or suggestions.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.