Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

GU Runs Deficit for Ninth Straight Year

The university ran a $12.8 million deficit in fiscal year 2011, continuing a trend of financial losses that began in 2003.

The university’s bottom line has been in the red for nine years, despite the main campus and the law center pulling in more than $19 million collectively each year during the same time period. This year’s deficit, however, was smaller than the $25.5 million shortfall projected by the University Budget Office.

Peer institutions including Boston College, Johns Hopkins University and the University of Pennsylvania have been operating at a profit through the recent economic recession. The George Washington University also saw positive net revenue in fiscal years 2010 and 2011, although it experienced a deficit in 2009.

University spokeswoman Stacy Kerr attributed the continual deficit to Georgetown’s commitment to fully meeting demonstrated financial need, research investments and the launch of the current capital campaign. According to Kerr, these initiatives, particularly the supply of financial aid, are not undertaken to the same extent at peer institutions and will help secure future philanthropy.

After the Georgetown University Medical Center, university services are the largest contributor to the deficit. University services, which encompass many administrative offices, auxiliary services, university information services, athletics and other departments, reported a shortfall of $5.4 million last year. The budgetary unit has been running a deficit since 2004.

This year, university services brought in $131.9 million in revenue, which includes funds from campus support, tuition, gifts, auxiliary enterprises and returns on the endowment and investments.

Expenses, which were $137.3 million this past fiscal year, range from rent, utilities, insurance and faculty and staff salaries and benefits to debt interest, repairs, travel, business functions and supplies, services and library books.

Also included in costs for 2011 were construction on Regents Hall, renovations to Nevils, the installation of wireless internet in residence halls, the implementation of the Georgetown Management System — a new human resources and financial management portal — and settlements with MedStarHealth, which operates the Georgetown University Hospital.

Georgetown’s Financial Plan 2013-2016 expects the next two fiscal years to see increasing deficits for both university services and the university’s total net operations. According to the projections, however, both should make it into the black in fiscal year 2016.

“In the plan just adopted by the board [of directors] earlier this month, the deficit in university services will be eliminated over a multi-year period,” Kerr wrote in an email. “This will be accomplished by slowing the growth in expenditures between now and [fiscal year] 2016.”

The financial plan attributes an expected decline in revenue over the next two years to costs associated with the 2010 Campus Plan, the university’s aging infrastructure, increasing security and an expected slowdown of gains to the endowment.

The university plans to limit university services expenses to 1 percent growth each year between 2013 and 2016 by implementing more cost-effective business policies, including consolidating support services and eliminating services if operational costs exceed benefits.

According to Kerr, the contributions from the capital campaign will also help move the university into the black.

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