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UNT Board of Regents approves $870 million budget

Profile image for By Jenna Duncan
By Jenna Duncan

The University of North Texas will have a balanced budget this upcoming fiscal year, with $543 million as budgeted income, and the same amount for expenditures, according to budget documents.

This is part of the $870 million total budget for the University of North Texas system, which was passed by the Board of Regents unanimously last week, with one amendment.

After presentations from UNT President Lane Rawlins, the board voted 6-3 to add an amendment to the budget that supports “the commitment of the UNT President of an additional $2.8 million in revenue and expenditure for the UNT Intercollegiate Athletics program and directs the Finance Committee to meet with the President immediately.”

Additionally, the amendment states that the committee should review the athletics department five-year plan and make a recommendation to the board including budget adjustments. After the amendment was added, the budget passed unanimously.

Rawlins was not immediately available to comment further on the amendment and how he and the committee will proceed.

Andrew Harris, vice president for finance and administration, presented the UNT budget to the board last week in a new format, adjusting how he will present the school and system budgets. They will no longer report on the transfers of money within the school — for example, student affairs paying in-house printing to make flyers, Harris said.

“The figure we’re presenting now gets a lot closer to the annual financial statements,” he said. “It really is a presentational change in the budget.”

This represents a $148.1 million drop in the reported budgets, part of a $274 million budget adjustment.

Additionally, the $126.3 million in capital projects was not included in the report, as these reports are now presented quarterly to the Board of Regents.

Aside from the aesthetic changes, Harris said UNT’s budget has remained steady, with no major cuts or increases and having revenues and expenditures balanced out completely to zero. The budget increased by 4 percent over fiscal year 2013, amounting to a $21 million increase.

“The story for the upcoming fiscal year is kind of a steady state story,” Harris said. “It really is a budget that doesn’t have any surprises and is keeping with the broader climate of the state.”

He noted the state appropriation of general revenue increased by 4.4 percent, adding $5.8 million in revenue. Though the Legislature did not pass the tuition revenue bonds, which would have allowed UNT to add $241.9 million in capital projects, Harris said it was a strong session for higher education funding.

The largest increase in the budget was an expenditure that adds an additional $12 million in scholarships and financial aid, an increase of 20 percent from 2013. This is in part because of the increase in financial aid program revenue, which has increased 17 percent in a year. The university is projected to get nearly $71.8 million for financial aid programs, up by more than $10 million.

A few areas saw large cuts in revenue, with a 72 percent loss in reserves revenue — down to $2.8 million from $10 million — and the net sales and services of educational activities fell 65 percent. This accounts for a roughly $1 million change, with the expected revenue at $562,521.

The rest of the budget gains and losses remain at 11 percent or less, which shows a steady trend for the Denton campus, Harris said.

“I think relative to last fiscal period, the trend is in the right direction in terms of the financial posture of the institution, and its ability to invest in our goals,” he said.