At a meeting on Oct. 13, President Michael Lindsay and his team updated faculty and staff on the Taylor community and the university’s economic standing.
Taylor announced changes to their financial plan including an increase in tuition, the restructuring of long-term debt and greater wages for staff.
Student tuition will increase by 2.76% for the upcoming academic year (2022-23).
The final cost of a Taylor education will amount to $48,534 annually. This shift is due to added room, board, tuition and overall fees of attendance.
Stephen Olson, vice president for business & finance and chief financial officer, gave this announcement with the backing of the board of trustees. He also spoke about the updated university financial aid model which helps the admissions teams in front loading scholarship funds to offer competitive aid packages to next year’s incoming class.
“This is a step that the admissions team believes will help draw additional students to the University,” Will Hagen, vice president for strategy and chief of staff, said in summarization of the meeting.
Olson said that freshmen enrollment at Taylor in the past two recruitment cycles has been markedly lower.
Intending to secure 445 freshman students and 40 transfers for the 2022-23 academic year, increasing enrollment continues to be a priority for the Lindsay administration, keeping Taylor’s finances steady.
Long-term debt was refinanced.
Olson offered an update on the university’s approach to finances at the meeting. He commended the minimal debt Taylor holds and recognized the strategic nature and financial tool that existing debt can offer to a healthy institution.
This summer, the team lowered the annual loan servicing cost by $1 million and added funds for future projects, infrastructure investments and to address deferred maintenance.
“(Olson) shared that, over the summer, the University took advantage of favorable market conditions,” Hagen said.
Additionally, the board refinanced $17 million of existing debt and extended Taylor’s maturity to the year 2051.
University staff will receive a 1.5% increase in wages.
This shift will be put into effect Jan. 1, 2022.
“Given the fact that the University has navigated many challenges well, in recognition of the amazing work that has occurred in the midst of a leadership transition, in celebration of our 175th anniversary and because the University was able to achieve a 2% operating margin (an important sign of institutional health) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, full time employees will receive a $1,000 bonus and part-time employees who routinely work more than 10 hours a week will receive a $400 bonus.” Hagen said.
These payments will be made via a hard copy check before Thanksgiving.
The board of trustees previously set a mandate of an annual 2% operating margin nearly two years ago. Olson shared that Taylor achieved this goal at the conclusion of FY 2021, allowing the bandwidth to expand wages.
Lindsay noted that university faculty received a wage increase earlier this year.
Following the meeting, Lindsay sent a message to the Taylor body on Nov. 1. In the message, he emphasized his goal in maintaining financial stewardship and supporting his colleagues.
“Wisely steward the resources God has entrusted to Taylor resulting in at least a 2 percent operating margin so that we can reinvest in the University, our students and our employees,” Lindsay said.
Lindsay will continue to share monthly updates regarding the Taylor community with students, faculty and staff.