According to SUNY New Paltz President Donald Christian’s March Faculty Report, Christian has decided to use the allocated funds from strategic initiatives for several new positions.
The positions include: an elevated gifts officer in the Development Office, an Alumni Relations Officer, a position in the Office of Communication and Marketing and two positions in the 3-D Printing and Digital Design and Fabrication Initiative.
Vice President for Finance and Administration Michele Halstead said the school’s main budget is made up of two parts: tuition, the largest part, and state tax dollar support.
This year, she said the budget was made up of $48 million of tuition revenue and $16 million of state tax support.
For this upcoming academic year, Halstead said she believes the revenue projection, which is based on enrollment, will be out near the end of April and will go from $48 million to $50 million because of the increase in tuition, so the overall budget should be about $66 million.
Halstead said Christian had money in an unallocated account that was a part of his budget, so he authorized more investments in development and in communication and marketing to further engage alumni in a more effective way. She said that these investments are “anticipated” to use most of the unallocated account.
“It’s nice that they’re putting those investments out there because we have a lot of talented alumni and we have no idea what they’re doing because we haven’t engaged them yet,” Halstead said.
Director of Alumni Relations Brenda Dow said the new Alumni Relations Officer will be responsible for working with alumni and student volunteers to plan events. She also said engaging alumni is one of the “eight essential initiatives” of the college’s strategic plan.
Dow said over the five years of the plan, the college is looking for opportunities to revitalize connections with alumni in ways that are meaningful to alumni and beneficial to the college and its students. One of those priorities will be to increase the number of alumni who sponsor internships for students through a collaborative effort between the Office of Development and Alumni Relations and the Career Resource Center.
The main responsibilities of the new alumni relations office will be to bring more alumni support to the campus, which will lead to increased student internships, additional speakers for panels and presentations within departments or across programs and additional financial support for scholarships and programs, Dow said.
Halstead said the money that was put into communications marketing, called Other Than Personal Services (OTPS), was used for increased advertising. New Paltz billboards were placed on I-87 and banners were put in the Poughkeepsie Galleria mall.
Halstead said the school is trying to receive external funding outside of the normal budget to “hopefully build a new building outside of the Resnick Engineering Building and to further invest in 3-D printing.”
She said Christian has also authorized money to the departments of Science and Engineering and Fine and Performing Arts to teach students more about 3-D printing and to create more space for the Makerbot array.
Through the Hudson Valley Advanced Center Manufacturing on-campus, the school is hoping to form partnerships with Hudson Valley businesses who do not have a printer, Halstead said.
Overall, Halstead said the school is investing in people and the student experience to improve the campus as a whole.
“I’ve worked here for a very long time and was in the position to watch every penny come in and now every penny go out of the campus,” Halstead said. “I have to say my colleagues are very good stewards of their money. They look to get the most bang for their buck and pour the most money into areas that are important.”