2023-24 A&S budget down $5 million from last fiscal year

The Tampa campus’ A&S budget is just over $18 million for the 2023-24 fiscal year. ORACLE PHOTO

The Campus Allocation Funding Committee approved a $23.5 million Activity and Service (A&S) budget for the 2023-2024 fiscal year across all campuses, representing an almost $5 million decrease from last year.

Most of this decrease can be attributed to the Sarasota-Manatee campus losing about $3.8 million in unrestricted reserves. Reserve accounts include accounts set aside for emergency expenses.

Sarasota-Manatee received $4.2 million in unrestricted reserves for the 2022-23 fiscal year to put toward a new on-campus building. Now, the campus will collect $317,740 in unrestricted reserves given it has no confirmed plans that would require the higher expenses.

Students pay fees on their tuition bill to fund the A&S budget. A $7 flat A&S fee is charged to students each semester, but the amount charged per credit hour, which is approved by the Board of Governors, varies depending on the campus.

Departments that are funded by A&S fees are only those that offer or support activities, programs and services to students.

The Tampa campus was given just over $18 million for this fiscal year, a slight increase from the just under $18 million it received for 2022-23.

St. Pete will see $3.6 million, coming down from the $4.2 million it received for 2022-23. However, this is a higher figure than the $3.1 million it received for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Given the cut from its unrestricted reserves, the Sarasota-Manatee campus will see a decline of just over $4 million this year. The campus obtained $1.7 million for 2023-24 compared to the $5.8 million it received last year.

Student programs and services, or each A&S-funded student success department, factor into a large part of each campus’ budget.

The Tampa campus will put $13.3 million of its budget toward student programs and services, which is a slight increase from the $13 million it used last fiscal year. St. Pete will use roughly the same amount on these services as last year at $2.8 million.

The Sarasota-Manatee campus will use $815,145 of its budget on student programs and services, which is about a $71,000 increase from last year.

Student Government (SG) operations, student organizations and the interim and reserve accounts comprise the rest of each campus’ budget.

Tampa’s SG received about $2.5 million, roughly the same it received last year. Student organizations will obtain $1.3 million, a $300,000 decrease from last year, while $847,316 of the budget will be held in reserves.

Sarasota-Manatee’s SG will see $377,443. St. Pete’s SG will collect $122,899 while it will store $673,040 in reserves. This year’s reserve total represents an over $500,000 cut from 2022-23 for the campus.

Many departments under the student programs and services categories did not see a major decrease at the Tampa campus. This is likely because most programs already received budget cuts for the 2022-23 fiscal year, according to an April 2022 Oracle article.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMA) will collect $728,237. The department received $937,318 for 2021-22, but that number dropped 25% last year to $703,015.

Recreation and Wellness received $3.9 million, up roughly $200,000 from last year in which the department saw a minor decrease from the year prior.

The Marshall Student Center and the Center for Student Involvement will receive roughly the same amounts as last year, at $3 million and just under $2 million, respectively.

Some departments received much less than they requested. The Office of Veterans Success requested $286,020 but received $93,284. However, it received about the same amount as it did for 2022-23.

At the Sarasota-Manatee campus, New Student Connections will see a large increase in funding, collecting $27,189 compared to the $11,925 it received last year. The Office of Student Engagement will go from $614,794 to $690,747 this year.

The OMA at Sarasota-Manatee will receive no funding this year after collecting $85,743 for 2022-23. No reason for this change was provided at the time of publication.

The St. Pete campus did not see much change in its department’s budgets. However, Student Life and Engagement will decline from $508,280 to $486,031 despite requesting $525,836 this year.