President Taylor Reveley sent the following message to the campus community on April 27, 2012 - Ed.
Dear William & Mary Community,
I write about action today by our Board of Visitors regarding undergraduate costs for academic year 2012/13.
In-state tuition and mandatory fees will increase $438 or 3.3 percent next year. This is the lowest percentage increase for Virginia undergraduates at William & Mary in more than a decade. Out-of-state tuition and mandatory fees will increase $1,382 or 3.8 percent. This, too, is the lowest percentage increase for our students from other parts of the United States and world in seven years. With the addition of room and board for those undergraduates who live on campus, the total expense in 2012/13 will be $22,888 for in-state students and $46,662 for out-of-state students.
W&M is committed to being affordable for its students. The amount of financial aid we provide has increased significantly in recent years. The budget for next academic year includes an additional $1.4 million from all sources in need-based aid for undergraduates. This remains a priority at the College.
The state budget is still being reviewed by the Governor, but the version approved last week by the General Assembly includes $1.2 million for W&M in new funds to help support ongoing operating expenses. These funds are very welcome.
There are offsetting costs, however, imposed on us by the state budget. We will lose $339,000 in support of faculty salaries as a result of the end of the state’s support of the Eminent Scholars program. The university’s obligatory contributions to the Virginia Retirement System and to the state benefits system will increase by approximately $1.3 million. The General Assembly also provided a 3 percent bonus for state employees (in lieu of a salary increase, which has not been provided for state employees since 2007), if the state meets certain revenue goals by June 30, 2012. State authorization of the bonus and help in funding it are quite welcome; the state will fund only 30 percent of the bonus for W&M people, leaving 70 percent, or roughly $2.4 million, to come from funds the university must raise.
William & Mary has been working hard to become even more cost-effective than the College now is, and we are already the most efficient of the leading national universities. According to U.S. News and World Report the gap between William & Mary’s financial resources and the College’s quality is by far the largest among the top 50 national universities. We have made significant progress in becoming even more cost-effective through a series of innovation and reallocation activities, and we continue to work hard to these ends on both the administrative and academic sides of the College. For example, our budget for next fiscal year includes $2.6 million in reallocations that will allow us to shift current funds to higher priorities, including the acute need for a return to faculty and staff salary increases.
The budget approved by the General Assembly last week provides much needed help with construction and renovation projects on campus. State support of bricks and mortar at William & Mary has been very important in recent years. On the operating side of the budget, while we do value the renewed operating support we have received from the state for 2012/13, the reality remains that state support now constitutes less than 13% of the funds required to operate the university.
Taking into account all that’s noted above, William & Mary will be able to make meaningful if limited progress on our six-year plan. There is much more to be done. A solid financial foundation for William & Mary ultimately hinges on our own efforts. Our financial future will turn on (1) our capacity to keep delivering teaching and research of extraordinary excellence, (2) our capacity to be simultaneously excellent and cost-effective, (3) our capacity to build powerful lifelong ties with William & Mary’s alumni and thereby take philanthropic giving to the College to “private Ivy” levels of participation and generosity, and (4) our capacity to generate more earned income based on the College’s strength in the market for applicants and its standing among national universities.
We will continue to do our level best to ensure the academic excellence of this venerable university and to get the highest possible return from the resources entrusted to us.