Despite Budget Surplus, Wright State Still At Risk Of State Fiscal Watch, President Says

May 25, 2018

Wright State University President Cheryl Schrader today announced the school is set to add millions of dollars to its cash reserves this year. But that may not be enough to keep the school off the state’s fiscal watch list.

In an email to campus this morning, Schrader said the school is projected to add $7.2M to its reserve fund this fiscal year. That’s $1.2M more than Wright State officials said would be needed to avoid state watch earlier this year.

But, Schrader says the school isn’t out of the woods yet. She wrote “avoiding fiscal watch is by no means a certainty” and reminded campus community members to be “conservative, frugal, and anticipatory.”

If placed under state watch, Wright State would be required to create a financial recovery plan and submit to regular audits.

School officials estimate budget cuts amounted to about $50M this fiscal year. Despite lower enrollment and higher than expected medical costs, next year’s preliminary budget plan projects a $3M surplus, Schrader wrote.

Wright State has been on shaky financial ground for a number of years due in part to widespread overspending. The school’s cash reserves were depleted by over $120M in a five year period beginning in 2012.

The Board of Trustees will present next year’s proposed budget at a public meeting on June 8 at 8:30 a.m. on Wright State’s campus.