Board of Trustees approves reallocation of 20% of general fee


Northern Star Staff

Northern Star file photo.

By Ahyen Labanan

DeKALB — The Board of Trustees approved the reallocation of 20% of the general fee toward other services for students Thursday. 

This reallocation will be for the fiscal year 21. The fiscal year 21, or FY21 began July 1 and ends June 30, 2021. 

The general fee supports programs and services around campus and is acquired from most students, according to the Office of the Bursar website. There will be no fee increase for students, Provost Beth Ingram said in an email sent to students Thursday. 

The 20% reallocation of the general fee will go towards the following services: remorse proctoring, advising support, specialized personal protective equipment, gateway and surveillance testing, and additional technology enhancements, according to the board report

Organizations were previously asked to plan for a budget that would decrease by 20% prior to the fall semester, according to a statement from the university to the Northern Star. 

“We are able to fund those budgets at the requested levels and we are able to pay for the additional services, programs and operation of students required for COVID-19 mitigation without further impacting the budgets of those organizations because of enrollment numbers at the start of the year,” the statement said. 

FY21 Budget 

The board also discussed the revised FY21 Internal Budget is currently $388.7 million in revenue with expenses anticipated to cost $420.8 million. The all funds deficit is $31.2 million, according to the board report. 

In June, the preliminary internal budget passed was $361.4 in revenue with expenses anticipated to cost $400.3 million and a shortfall of $38.8 million, according to a June 19 Northern Star article

“As we progress through the year, we are tracking three key risks that could significantly impact the budget as the year progresses,” Chief Financial Officer Sarah Chinniah said. “The first being no receiving of relief funding or a decline in state funding. Second, continued increased expenses associated with implementing increased health and safety measures and finally the COVID-19 environment could further impact our plans for the academic year”

Changes because of COVID-19 may impact NIU’s ability to keep dining venues open, house students or support planned programming offered on campus, Chinniah said. 

Chinniah also said contingency plans such as furlough planning are being discussed if they are needed. 

NIU anticipates to receive $87.8 million from the state of Illinois in FY21.

“Earlier this week, Gov. Pritzker warned that state agency funding would suffer additional cuts if federal relief does not come through. Under these circumstances, there would almost certainly be a negative impact on NIU’s state appropriation,” according to a statement from the university to the Northern Star. 

The budget will continue to be reviewed quarterly and the next update will be in November, Chinniah said. 

Salary increment allocation 

The board also approved a 3% increment for non-negotiated staff beginning Oct. 1. 

Collective bargaining agreements

The board approved collective bargaining agreements for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local Union #399 and Teamsters Local #330.