The following was taken from the Executive Summary of the 2016 Annual Budget Report
Texas State Technical College (TSTC) significantly changed its annual budget process for fiscal year 2016. Single accreditation allowed the transition to a single budgeting process enabling leadership to deploy a more conservative approach to budgeting revenues and expenditures for fiscal year 2016. In addition, the fiscal year 2016 budget was prepared as a single, statewide organization rather than the consolidation of five institutional budgets required under TSTC’s previous accrediting and operating structures. The new, statewide approach supports shaping the budget towards focused, institutional priorities further described below.
The statewide budget for TSTC will grow in fiscal year 2016, primarily due to increases in state appropriations over fiscal year 2015 levels as a result of the appropriations authorized during the 84th Regular Legislative Session.
Leadership took a balanced approach to determining budget priorities for fiscal year 2016. The proposed budget balances an increased emphasis on
- Teaching and learning quality and relevance (throughout innovation),
- Marketing, and
- Expanding capacity.
The following includes significant budget investments/priorities highlighted in TSTC’s spending plans in fiscal year 2016 relative to fiscal year 2015:
The proposed student learning budget supports $10 million in teaching equipment split between investments in legacy programs and the new Fort Bend location, $629,000 directed at innovations in learning such as competency based learning deployment and creation of microcredentials/badges, and increasing the capacity of existing infrastructure by investing approximately $1,100,000 in night and weekend operations.
The fiscal year 2016 proposed budget supports an incremental increase toward the needed level of marketing expenditures required to promote TSTC’s programs in both legacy and new markets. TSTC will increase statewide investment in advertising to $1,900,000, a $1,100,000 increase over fiscal year 2015 advertising, primarily related to the cost of advertising in new markets. Increased investment in industry relations and talent management (placement) will target new business-to-business markets and create new revenue streams as TSTC pilots a new line of business.
In recent years, as revenues declined, TSTC significantly reduced or deferred certain expenditures; however, anticipating that the revenue shortfall was temporary, TSTC maintained a minimum level of capacity to mitigate significant start-up costs to restore capacity as revenue levels were restored. Most recently, TSTC focused on retaining talent by implementing recommendations from the 2013 compensation study. The portion of the fiscal year 2016 anticipated revenue increases dedicated to funding the compensation study adjustments (i.e., shifting to a balanced budget) is approximately $3,500,000.
A significant portion of the increasing revenues was $8,500,000 in new appropriations funding to support start up costs at TSTC’s new campuses: East Williamson County Campus, North Texas Campus, and Fort Bend County Campus.
The budget process suspended nearly 100 position vacancies in order to restructure the organization and realize efficiencies without laying off personnel.
The fiscal year 2016 operating budget relies on capital financing plans, including short-term financing for instructional equipment as well as a bond sale during the second half of the fiscal year (including tuition revenue bonds and Higher Education Assistance Fund [HEAF] bonds). New funding is identified to cover debt service for all proposed debt issuances.