Distribution of university funds is a complex process

By on March 2, 2005

With every tuition bill, parents groan and ask their child why he or she wants to go to Quinnipiac. What the parents may not realize is that the cost of Quinnipiac is comparable to other top competitive schools.

“Every year we prepare a survey of schools that we feel we compete with, and we compare our tuition with theirs,” Lucille Marottolo, assistant to the senior vice president for finance and administration, said. “We are consistently in the middle. We aren’t the most expensive school, but we also aren’t the least.”

Currently, Quinnipiac’s yearly budget is roughly $170 million and the current tuition is $23,460. Room and board are not included in this figure and vary by residence hall.

In November, each university department proposes their personnel and departmental budget. The departments are broken down into business affairs, academic affairs, public affairs, development and alumni affairs, information systems and technology, student affairs, institutional and admissions and financial aid.

The business affairs department includes administrative services, facilities, human resources, the controller’s office and the bursar. It also includes all the campus-run departments that are not academic-based. Academic affairs consist of the separate schools on campus, such as the School of Communications, School of Health Sciences, etc.

Institutional affairs, which receives the largest amount of money from the university’s budget, contains areas such as debt services, graduation costs, legal services, insurance, investment and audit fees, postage and copying.

The budget is broken down into three major sections: salary and benefits, other expenditures [line-items] and financial aid. When it is broken down, half of the budget goes towards salary and benefits while the remaining half is split between the other departmental budgets and financial aid. Funds allocated depend upon what each department asks for that year. Financial Aid includes all scholarships, both academic and athletic.

Hiring new faculty is an important aspect to consider when creating the budget. The administration looks for faculty members at least a year in advance so they can work new salaries into the budget. Paying the salaries for each employee at Quinnipiac, including all faculty and staff members, secretaries, facilities members, and administration factors into the budget.

Line-item expenses for each department must also factor into each individual department for items that may randomly come up as the year progresses. This includes money for program costs related in academic affairs, special food service fees for the cafeteria, new supplies such as a lawn mower for facilities and utilities such as heat and electricity.

Every year, each department asks for and receives about a two percent increase from the previous year. Occasionally departments may require a higher increase. According to Marottolo, this does not mean they receive more money than other departments.

“Last year academic affairs had the largest increase, by six percent,” Marottolo said. “That doesn’t necessarily mean that they have the highest budget.”

The institutional affairs department has the largest budget of compared to other departments because they take care of all necessary university expenses and services provided at Quinnipiac.

Students feel that the university should funnel more money into funding resident hall expansions.

“There is hardly enough housing for everyone on campus,” said Shawn Erickson, a sophomore physical therapy major.

He also feels that the budget should be made public. “For students paying off their education, it might be nice to see a breakdown,” Erickson said.

Although students and parents complain about the steadily rising cost of college tuition, it is broken down fairly and in a way that ensures every department is taken care of. Each department has enough money necessary to run a successful university.


About Bethany Dionne