Next year’s budget depends on state funds

A $2-billion budget request for the 2004-05 school year — including $80-million in new enrollment growth funding — was requested by the State University System and approved by the Board of Governors on Sept. 24. Although the budget request is pending approval by Gov. Jeb Bush and then the State Legislature, if it passes USF will get some of that money for its operating budget and tuition might not be increased next year.

Last year SUS requested a $2.5-billion budget of which $1.8 billion was approved.

If the governor and the Legislature don’t approve the budget request, and USF doesn’t receive any new state funding, tuition might be increased to cover the rise in cost from enrollment growth and other areas of the operating budget.

“If we get state money it’s a better outlook and it reduces the need for increasing the income in other areas, but if we don’t get this money, and cost goes up every year, we have to find another way to raise the money to make up the difference,” said Carl Carlucci, chief financial officer and executive vice president of USF.

He also said every year cost of operation goes up along with inflation increases, and if the state doesn’t fund new money, the difference must be made through increases in other areas of income.

“It’s just like when Blockbuster raises its prices, the bus service raises its prices and Pam Iorio raises parking prices downtown…if we don’t get enough of the general revenue, then (USF) goes to a tuition increase to make up the difference,” Carlucci said.

The governor will review the budget in February, and the Legislature will review it in March.

Carlucci said any students who want to see the process step-by-step should log onto the budget Web site: