Regents approve budget of $3 billion for UNM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — After months of talking, planning, hair-pulling and revising, the University of New Mexico Board of Regents unanimously and with little fanfare placed its final stamp of approval Thursday on a nearly $3 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

About two-thirds of the overall $2.8 billion spending plan involves the Health Sciences Center, where the new budget is $1.9 billion.

Revenues and expenditures at the state’s flagship university are both up 7.7 percent over the current year.

The budget includes new revenue from a 3 percent increase in tuition and a 4.66 percent hike in student fees, both of which were approved by the regents last month. The tuition and fee increases mean the average undergraduate who takes 15 credit hours of classes per semester will pay $217 more next year to attend UNM.

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Tuition and fees account for the second-biggest chunk of revenue for the main campus, almost 23 percent or $192 million, said Andrew Cullen, associate vice president in the Office of Planning, Budget and Analysis, in a presentation to the regents. The biggest source of funds for the main campus comes from state appropriations, 24 percent or $201 million. Other chief sources include grants and contracts, $135 million; sales and services, $79 million; and federal appropriations, $60 million.

By far, “instruction and general” is the biggest main campus expenditure category, $341 million or nearly 41 percent. Student aid is next, $133 million or 16 percent, followed by the cost of physical operations – the plant fund – $119 million or 14 percent, and research, $96 million or 11 percent.

The budget for the university’s four branch campuses is $51.7 million, 82 percent of which is included in instruction and general.

LOVELL: Insurance is main HSC income

LOVELL: Insurance is main HSC income

Ava Lovell, senior executive officer for finance and administration for the Health Sciences Center, said the center expects to get the bulk of its revenue from various insurance plans. Medicaid will provide $563 million or 29.5 percent; commercial insurance, $487 million or 25 percent; and Medicare, $306 million or 16 percent.

Revenue from patient insurance has risen steadily and across the board in recent years, a trend that is expected to continue.

The picture is not as uniform in regards to expenses. For example, while patient care and purchased services are projected to increase in the coming year, facility costs and other expenses, including supplies, are expected to decrease.

Also factored into the HSC budget are medical malpractice premiums, which declined in FY2014, only to skyrocket this year by 35 percent. They are projected to climb again this year by a hefty 20 percent.

Of the nearly $2 billion HSC budget, more than $600 million involves the medical school and other academic enterprises. The separate UNM health system will take in and eat up some $1.3 billion.

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