Despite the gradual return to normalcy that has been seen, the effects of the pandemic are still present in this fiscal year’s budget for Keene State.
Vice President for Finance and Administration Nathalie Houder said that, in particular, travel expenses for the college’s sports teams have now returned to the budget, causing an increase. “We’re fortunate enough to have our sports teams be able to travel again like they used to,” she said.
In addition to the pandemic, the U.S. overall has been grappling with rising costs due to inflation. The effects of inflation are seen in the college’s budget this year as well. “Some of the larger components are that we have a significant amount of increases in utilities spending, as well as supplies and services due to inflation,” Houder said. “The increases in both add up to $2.2 million.”
Despite both inflation and the pandemic looming, Keene State has been able to create savings in this year’s budget in comparison to last year. In June, the college announced it will no longer use a two schools format, eliminating the School of Arts, Education, and Humanities and the School of Sciences, Sustainability, and Health. This allowed the college to find ways to save in this year’s budget, Houder said.
“There’s some savings reflected in the fiscal year 2022 budget due to the consolidation of one college,” Houder said. “All of that is needed for the drive for financial stability in the long term.”
On the more academic side of things, Dean of Faculty Affairs Karrie Kalich noted that not much has changed this year. “Our departments haven’t had our budgets reduced,” Kalich said. “Our dean’s office has been consolidated, so that might save some budget dollars.”
Going forward, Kalich said she is optimistic about the future of the college. “We’re always working to deliver high- quality education experiences where students are at the heart of that,” she said.
Nathan Hope can be contacted