Next year, Plattsburgh State may have to use more of its reserve funds to cover contractual salary increases, Budget Officer Clark Foster said.

For the 2014-15 academic year, Foster said PSUC had to use approximately $3.5 million to balance its budget, and $179,000 in state tax money was also used to alleviate costs.

However, Foster said it was a temporary solution.

More funds may have to be used for the 2015-16 academic year if the college does not receive tax money, which Foster said is a likely possibility.

Along with paying for salary increases, Foster said the college will also need to pay employees for deficit reduction leave time. The United University Professions Union has withheld nine days of pay over the last few years. PSUC will pay back seven days worth, leaving two days of pay the college can add to savings.

PSUC is also increasing tuition costs, but Foster said not all of the revenue can be saved. A portion has to be used to help students who qualify for the Tuition Assistance Program. He added that the college did not enroll as many students as projected this year.

However, more out-of-state and international students enrolled, allowing the increased tuition costs for those students to compensate for lower enrollment rates.

SUNY Downstate Medical Center, which has fought financial troubles for the past few years, could still affect PSUC, Foster said. The medical school is currently in the process of being purchased by a private company. Foster said whether PSUC and other SUNY colleges will still have to pay for its debt is dependent on how much the buyer is
willing to assume.

“They haven’t ironed it all out yet,” Foster said. “There is still a possibility it could have an impact on our campus, but we don’t know to what degree.”

As for campus construction projects, Foster said dorm renovations will continue as scheduled without complications — funding for renovations are taken out of student rental payments. On the other hand, Foster said any construction to academic buildings is dependent on how much state money is allocated to the State University Construction Fund.

Foster said PSUC has prioritized its projects for this year, but there are no major projects lined up for next year. Because the construction funds are divided among all SUNY campuses, he said money availability changes if other campuses decide they can not complete a project. He noted that current PSUC projects are not likely to halt, but speed is a factor.

“The only risk is that we are not able to move forward as quickly as we’d like to and what would be the impact of that,” Foster said “It’s a matter of not having facilities for students coming in that they hoped we had.”

Email Brian Molongoski at managing@cardinalpointsonline.com.

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