Brian Biery
Contributing Writer

There have been concerns about budget cuts and other anxieties across the spectrum of the educational field. Jennifer Mariacher is the Budget Director here at Millersville. This means she is responsible for the budget for the university, salaries, revenues, capital expenses, benefits and transfers.
Despite budgetary challenges in recent years, Mariacher seems optimistic about finding solutions, new ideas for income and effective cost saving measures. She actually gets a sense of satisfaction from her position where she is creating presentations, solutions to solve problems and training the campus community. She is always looking for ways too, as she says, “do more with less.”
There are different areas of funding that support the education system. There are four categories: Tuition is the highest at 56%, followed by appropriation at 27%, then fees at 13% and finally other at 4%. It is a combination of all of the following including interest income from banks, donations, parking fines and other revenues. The school has a general education fund totaling $117,642,178.00 to work from annually. The vice president allocates $6 million and there it is decided how and where it is to be dispersed. The biggest item on the school’s expenses list is the personnel which stands at 75%. The other 25% is a combination between school fees and additional expenses from parking fees or parking tickets and other related fines.
Here is a brief look at the 2014-2015 School Budget: Total annual source: $117,642,178.00
This is a breakdown of the use of these funds divided into five sections:
– Personal Compensation $87,753,902.00
– Service Supplies $21,698,197.00
– Capital Expenditures $379,296.00
– Transfers / Plant & Endowment $6,878,253.00
– Reserve for future commitments $932,530.00
Total Annual Budget 2014-2015 $117,642,178.00

This chart shows how the budget breaks down.
This chart shows how the budget breaks down.

There have been many new upgrades and renovations all across campus during the past four years, and these are also an important part of balancing the budget. The process for projects between sums of $2,500 – $300,000 have specific guidelines and require a project request form. The projects that are under $2,500 are addressed through a resource request or work order form depending on what the circumstances are. Projects exceeding $300,000 need to be approved by the Assistant Vice President. These projects are considered capital in nature and will be addressed through the University’s capital project process, which includes but is not limited to new or remodeled buildings.
Managing all of these financial components takes optimism and strategic planning among other skills needed to find success in balancing the budget. Mariacher is always scouting out new sources for revenue, freezing positions, delaying hiring and trying to minimize school layoffs during these times of budget cuts.
The future is hard to predict when balancing school budgets in the current economy, especially with a new governor coming into office who is likely to make policy changes from his predecessor. The future of Millersville University budget rests on the always optimistic Jennifer Mariacher. While she is certainly too busy to meet with every student who may have questions about the university budget there are other ways to learn more. Students can start by going to the Millersville website index under B for budget to stay up-to-date with the current university finances.