Health service to carry over reserve

By Caryn Rosenberg

As offices across NIU try to trim their budgets, the University Health Service is watching its pocketbook and using old money again.

The health center estimates it will carry over about $179,126 for fiscal year 1993, according to the UHS Budget Review FY 92.

Dana Mills, associate director of University Health Services, said the health center’s ending cash balance previously functioned as its capital reserve. If no reserve was generated, the health center was vulnerable to economic setbacks, such as major equipment failure and extra costs associated with campus epidemics.

Also, Mills said the health center is allotting money for the costs of moving back into its own building and to make up the loss of general revenue because of the midyear recision and the chance of future budget cuts.

“Some pieces are exceedingly expensive and it’s not appropriate to increase student fees for it,” Mills said. “If we plan appropriately, we should be able to accumulate funds to purchase equipment as we need it.”

Mills said capital equipment, including X-ray machines and lab and testing equipment, generally costs between $25,000 and $75,000.

“We’ve had pretty good luck with the equipment so far,” Mills said. “We’re very careful with the equipment that we’ve got and maintenance contracts also help to keep it in good working order.”

NIU Chief Accountant Douglas Moore said the rules governing cash carryover balances are found in University Guidelines.

“University Guidelines prescribes how much money universities are allowed to retain at the end of each year,” Moore said. “It was written back in 1982 and the set rules apply no matter what.”

Moore said the amount the health center can carry over is determined by combining three different allowances into a single dollar amount:

‘The highest month’s expenditures from the preceding 12 months.

‘A reserve for any outstanding purchase orders at the end of June.

‘Twenty percent of the current equipment cost.

Moore said the health center has always been able to carry over the money at the end of the year. In the case of an excess balance, Moore said the money goes into the University Income Fund.

“It really wouldn’t benefit the university at all because when money is put in, it takes away from the tax money the university receives,” Moore said. “We want to avoid taking student fee money if it’s not going to benefit the students.”