The Times West Virginian

In Today's TWV

August 14, 2008

FSU may finish the fiscal year in the red

Final audits won’t be performed until October; increases in operating costs, salaries are shown

FAIRMONT — Fairmont State University’s Board of Governors received word Thursday the institution may finish the fiscal year in the red.

According to Rick Porto, vice president of financial affairs, BOG Chairman Andy Kniceley requested a statement on the university’s condition for last year.

That statement indicated the university’s unrestricted fund was sitting $383,617 to the negative, as of Wednesday.

Although the fiscal year ended on June 30, the books won’t actually close until the beginning of next month. The final audits won’t be performed until October, Porto said.

He said the situation isn’t as dire as it seems.

“The audit isn’t done yet. We still have another week of posting transactions. The net assets will be positive,” Porto said. “I hope it doesn’t disappoint people. When I stand in front of you to give financial numbers, it is what it is.”

The board of governors has received conflicting reports on the state of the university’s fiscal year 2008 budget in the last months. Kniceley pointed out last month the statements indicated there would be a $200,000 surplus.

Porto said the change is a result of many things, from increases in operating costs to an increase in salaries.

At the June meeting, the board voted to suspend all salary increases until after October, when the university’s enrollment numbers will be known.

Porto declined to specifically state the increases were approved by former President Dan Bradley. Instead, he said raises for additional job responsibilities come through the chain of command and are ultimately approved by the president of the institution the employee works for, in this case, Fairmont State University.

The raises were approved between the last board of governors meeting on June 19 and July 30, Bradley’s last day on the job.

Additional salary increases of $178,518 for fiscal year 2009 involved 14 employees. It was not part of the original budget request approved by the board of governors June 19.

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