ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A top University of New Mexico financial planner said Tuesday that UNM is facing a deficit of about $7.2 million for the 2015-16 budget year that begins July 1.
Associate Vice President Andrew Cullen of UNM’s Office of Planning, Budget and Analysis told a regents’ committee that a major part of the problem is enrollment, which is expected to remain flat for the near future. Because educating students is the university’s primary function, a decrease in the student body is, by definition, serious.
In the fall 2012 semester, a total of 29,100 students were enrolled; in fall 2013, the number was down to 28,644; in 2014, it dropped again to 27,889. Over the past five years, enrollment is down by just more than 3.02 percent.
For every potential student who does not enroll, UNM loses tuition money and fees. Additionally, a significant portion of the state’s funding formula for higher education is based on enrollment.