ENMU campuses financially stable

By Sarah Meyer: PNT Staff Writer

Eastern New Mexico University officials last week reported that the main campus in Portales and its branches in Ruidoso and Roswell are in good financial shape.

But they’re proceeding cautiously because of the economic environment.

Here is a synopsis of the financial reports presented at Friday’s board of regents meeting:

• Scott Smart, vice president for business affairs at ENMU-Portales, reported that revenue grew by 6 percent while expenses grew by 1.6 percent. This left a reserve balance of about $4.98 million, nearly $1 million more than planned for in the budget.

Smart’s report attributed the savings in expenditures to:

• Utility savings associated with the closed science building.

• Salary savings related to open positions at the university.

• Overall insurance expenses being less than budgeted.

The increased revenue and reduced expenses “allowed us to infuse a healthy amount into operating reserves, which we will probably have to dip into in the next 12 to 24 months,” Smart said, given the unknowns in the economy.

Michael Elrod, ENMU-Ruidoso president, reported said instruction and general revenues were up 7.6 percent and expenditures were down 16.8 percent, leaving an ending balance of $816,933, an increase of $223,387 over the beginning balance.

Eric Johnston-Ortiz, vice president of business affairs at ENMU-Roswell, reported revenues about $1 million more than expected and expenditures of about $4 million less than the budget. The Roswell campus has a reserve balance of $1.75 million.

Officials said they were hoping to build up reserves in case of budget cuts by the state due to the national economy.

“We don’t want to put our colleges at risk any more than the state forces us to,” said Alva Carter, board of regents president.