Keller @ Large: Marty Meehan Talks UMass Financial Issues

Keller @ Large: Marty Meehan Talks UMass Financial Issues


THE DRIVER WAS TAKEN TO THE HOSPITAL WITH NON LIFE THREATENING INJURIES. TIME FOR KELLER AT LARGE WITH JOHN KELLER. GOOD MORNING. IF YOU HAVE BEEN BY THE DORCHESTER CAMPUS YOU DON’T NEED ME TO TELL YOU CONSTRUCTION IS BOOMING A NEW SCIENCE CENTER, A STUDENT CENTER, OTHER NEW BUILDINGS ATTESTING TO THE STATE’S COMMITMENT TO A WORKING CLASS SCHOOL SHORT CHANGED IN SO MANY WAYS OVER THE YEARS. AHID THAT BOOM UNFORTUNATELY THERE’S ALSO FINANCIAL EXPECTED TO HIT IS HERE TO EXPLAIN THIS AND DISCUSS IT WITH US IS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS MARTY. MR. PRESIDENT WELCOME. GREAT TO BE HERE. THANK YOU FOR COMING BY. WE APPRECIATE IT. WHO SCREWED UP? I THINK WE HAVE A TEMPORARY DEFICIT REALLY PROJECTED. I INSTITUTED QUARTERLY REPORTS AT THE BEGINNING OF THE FISCAL YEAR. BOSTON SUBMITTED A BUDGET TO THE PRESIDENT AND ALSO A BOARD OF TRUSTEES THAT PROJECTED A $2 MILLION SURPLUS. WE HAD QUARTERLY REPORTS THE FIRST ONE THEY WERE RUNNING A DEFICIT OF $10 MILLION BUT HAD PLANS TO GET IT DOWN TO $6 MILLION. SECOND QUARTERLY REPORT THE DEFICIT WENT UP AND DIDN’T IMPLEMENT THEIR PLANS SO I BROUGHT IT TO THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES AND WE DECIDED TO COME UP WITH A PLAN TO GET SOME HELP IN THERE AND DEAL WITH THIS PROBLEM. WHEREAS CREATING–WHAT’S CREATING THE DEFICIT. A COMBINATION OF THINGS. THE CONTRACTS FOR EMPLOYEES NEVER PAID BY THE STATE. THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN CUTS MADE TO MAKE UP FOR THAT AND THERE WEREN’T ENOUGH CUTS MADE. ENROLLMENT ISSUES TRYING TO BALANCE ENROLLMENT. ENROLLMENT IS DOWN SLIGHTLY. AND WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO IS MANAGE THE ENROLLMENT AND REVENUE AND THOSE ALL WORK TOGETHER AND TOTALLY MONITOR IT. I DO BELIEVE BY THE END OF THIS FISCAL YEAR THE SITUATION WILL BE UNDER CONTROL. HOW ABOUT ALL OF THE DEBT YOU TOOK ON FOR NEW CONSTRUCTION. THE DEBT HAS AN 8% POLICY THAT SERVICE CAN’T BE OVER 8% OF THE OVERALL BUDGET. BOSTON IS STILL BELOW THAT NUMBER. I BELIEVE WE’LL BE ABLE TO CORRECT THE YEAR END DEFICIT AND ALSO DEAL WITH MORE STRUCTURAL ISSUES AT BOSTON. BOSTON IS A CHALLENGING CAMPUS BECAUSE IT IS A CAMPUS OUT ON THE COLUMBIA POINT, CONSTRUCTION HAS BEEN DIFFICULT 40 YEARS AGO WHEN SOME OF THOSE BUILDINGS WERE BUILT THERE WAS CORRUPTION. THEY NEED TO BE REPLACED AND UPGRADED SO THERE ARE CHALLENGES AND IN THE LONG RUN PRETTY GOOD SHAPE. RECENTLY STANDARDS AND THEY ALL RAIDED U MASS AND GAVE US REALLY GOOD BOND RATINGS CREDIT RATINGS AND AA NEGATIVES SO THE UNIVERSITY FINANCIAL I PUT AS A WHOLE LOOKS PRETTY GOOD. YEAH BUT YOU’VE BEEN MOVING AWAY FROM THE OLD U MASS BOSTON MODEL WHICH SETTING ASIDE ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS THAT YOU ENUMERATED THE MODEL OF BEING ESSENTIALLY A COMMUTER SCHOOL FOR WORKING CLASS STUDENTS SOME OF THEM ADULTS PEOPLE WHO WORK AND DON’T HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO GO FULL TIME. WE HAVE A LOT OF THOSE FOLKS YES. YOU DISCUSSED THIS LAST TIME YOU ARE HERE MOVING AWAY TO A PLACE WITH AN $120 MILLION DORM FOR THE FIRST TIME AND RESIDENTIAL STUDENTS. THIS KIND OF WORLD CLASS UNIVERSITY MODEL. WONDERFUL IN THEORY BUT IS IT A FLAWED BUSINESS MODEL THAT NEEDS TO BE REASSESSED. FIRST OF ALL ON CONSTRUCTION EVERYTHING NEEDS TO BE REASSESSED BUT I’M NOT SURE REASSESSED WHETHER OR NOT STUDENTS ATTENDING U MASS BOSTON ARE ENTITLED TO TOP NOTCH FACILITIES. BOSTON HADN’T BUILT A NEW ACADEMIC BUILDING IN 35 YEARS. IN A TECHNOLOGY ERA THAT’S NOT NORMAL. THEY NEEDED A NEW SCIENCE BUILDING. BOSTON IS IN POSITION TO CREATE MORE WOMEN AND STUDENTS IN COLOR AND STEM FIELDS SORELY NEEDED IN THIS STATE THAN ANY OTHER STATE IN NEW ENGLAND. WE NEEDED THE FACILITIES AND WE CAN’T NOT PUT ANYTHING INTO IT. WITHIN THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES POLICY AND ADJUSTMENTS THAT NEED TO BE MADE. WE ARE MAKING THOSE ADJUSTMENTS NOW. WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE ON THIS TOPIC IN A MOMENT AS WE CONTINUE THE CONVERSATION WITH COULD SAVE NOW. WELCOME BACK. SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT MASSACHUSETTS SO LITTLE TIME DOING OUR BEST WITH THE PRESIDENT OF U MASS. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE FISCAL PROBLEMS OF U MASS BOSTON. ENROLLMENT DISCUSSING THIS. OFFICE SUPPLIES BEING CUT. DESPITE A HIRING FREEZE INSTITUTED LAST NOVEMBER YOU HIRED ACCORDING TO THE GLOBE 29 PEOPLE SINCE THEN INCLUDING FOUR ADMINISTRATORS WITH SALARIES OVER $100,000. EARLIER LAST YEAR THE SCHOOL HIRED PROMOTED GLOBE AGAIN OTHER TOP ADMINISTRATORS TO POSITIONS PAYING BETWEEN 96,000 AND 228,000. WHAT KIND OF TIGHTENING IS THIS. ONE OF THE THINGS I INSTITUTED IN ADDITION TO ASKING BARRY MILLS THE FORMER PRESIDENT AT BODEN WHO WAS UP THE VIEWED WORKING ON THIS PROBLEM TO SOLVE IT. WE ARE ALSO HAVING A NATURAL AUDITING FIRM THROUGH A PROCUREMENT PROCESS TO LOOK AT ALL OF THE BOOKS AND ISSUES TO FIND OUT WHERE BOSTON IF THEY WENT WRONG WHERE THEY WENT WRONG. IF THERE NEEDS TO BE CORRECTIONS WHERE TO MAKE THE CORRECTIONS. THOSE INDIVIDUAL HIRES ARE DONE AT THE CAMPUS AND I’M NOT TO EACH PERSON THAT THEY HAVE HIRED OVER THERE SO I CAN’T COMMENT. DO YOU APPROVE OR DISAPPROVE OF THESE HIRES? I’D HAVE TO SEE WHICH THEY ARE. I READ THE PIECE IN THE GLOBE. I SENT AN AUDITING FIRM IN TO LOOK AT ALL OF THE. ARE YOU SAYING YOU’D LIKE TO REIGN THIS IN? OF COURSE. I RAN IT AT U MASS FOR EIGHT YEARS. THERE WERE TIMES I HAD TO LAY ON OFF PEOPLE. USUALLY NON ACADEMIC POSITIONS SO ANY UNIVERSITY TODAY HAS TO CONSTANTLY LOOK AT WHERE THEY CAN CUT. FRANKLY WE WANT TO TRY AND AND REDUCE OUR TUITION INCREASES SO THEY ARE WITHIN INFLATION SO THEY HAVE TO CONSTANTLY BE LOOKING AT ACADEMIC PROGRAMS WHERE ENROLLMENT IS UP AND WHAT KIND OF ADJUSTMENTS WE CAN MAKE. MORE UNIVERSITIES PUBLIC AND PRIVATE. TIME IS RUNNING OUT BUT I GOT TO GET TO THIS LAST TOPIC HERE. 30 YEARS AGO STATE FUNDING MADE UP 75% OF THE U MASS BOSTON OPERATING BUDGET. TODAY IT’S LESS THAN 30%. YOU’VE ALLUDED A COUPLE OF TIMES IN OUR CONVERSATION TO THE STATE. WHERE DO YOU STAND NOT JUST FOR U MASS BOSTON BUT THE SYSTEM IN GENERAL IN TERMS OF GETTING WHAT YOU NEED FROM THE STATE FINANCIALLY AND WHAT’S THE PROBLEM. WELL I HAVE CONSTANTLY BEEN LOBBYING THE LEGISLATURE. I HAVE A GREAT RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OR THE SENATE PRESIDENT OR THE GOVERNOR AND MAKING THE PITCHES. THESE ARE DIFFICULT TIMES IN TERMS OF HEALTHCARE. THESE ARE DIFFICULT TIMES IN TERMS OF LOCAL AID. WE CONTINUED TO PUSH THE INTERESTING THING AS THE COST OF EDUCATION OVER THE LAST 30 YEARS FACTORS INFLATION. ACTUALLY STAYED THE SAME OR SLIGHTLY GONE DOWN. THE STATE USED TO PAY OVERALL 88% OF THE BUDGET 35 YEARS AGO. TODAY AT U MASS ABOUT 20% OF THE OVERALL BUDGET. THAT IS A CHALLENGE. WE SEE THAT TREND IN STATES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. ONE OF THE REASONS WHY NATIONALLY PEOPLE ARE SAYING PUT MORE MONEY INTO EDUCATION WE HAVE TO LOWER THE DEBT THAT STUDENTS ACQUIRE SO THAT’S SOMETHING I CONTINUE TO FIGHT FOR. IT’S BEEN A CHALLENGE BUT WE ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO FIGHT AND I THINK IT’S A WORTHWHILE INVESTMENT SINCE WE GRADUATE STUDENTS WHO STAY IN MASSACHUSETTS FOR AN ECONOMY OF U MASS EDUCATING THE WORK FORCE OF MASSACHUSETTS. OUR TIME IS UP. WE COULD USE MUCH MORE TIME HERE. LET’S VERY QUICKLY CLEAR UP THOSE NEW DORMS $126 MILLION DORMS. THOSE ARE BEING PAID FOR BY A PRIVATE DEVELOPER. IT’S VERY UNIQUE. A PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP. NO TAXPAYER MONEY INVOLVED AND U MASS BOSTON ALL OF THEIR STUDENTS ARE NOT DOING ANY OF THE BORROWING. THAT’S NOT TO SAY IT IS A CHALLENGE AND WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE THE HOUSING WORKS WELL. IT’S NOT SOMETHING THAT’S ON THE BOOKS AND INVOLVES ANY TAXPAYER MONEY. GOOD LUCK. THANKS JOHN. THE COMMUNITY NEEDS U MASS BOSTON TO SUCCEED. IT’S A VERY IMPORTANT INSTITUTION. THANK YOU VERY MUCH