University Of Arkansas Advancement Ends FY13 With Balanced Budget

University of Arkansas officials said on Thursday that the school's Advancement Division ended the 2013 fiscal year with a balanced budget.

Chris Wyrick, vice chancellor for university advancement, and Don Pederson, vice chancellor for finance and administration, said total expenditures were $13.37 million.

Two advancement division employees lost their jobs at the end of the most recent fiscal year because an internal audit revealed a $3.1 million budget deficit in 2011-12 and the possibility of a nearly $4 million deficit for the division in 2012-13.

"As is the policy and practice for most public and private institutions, the university is in the final days of accounting for any possible end-of-year revenues and expenditures in order to close the books on FY13," Pederson said. "We are confident that the division’s budget will be balanced even after those final adjustments are taken into account."

Expense reductions, including hiring freezes, were the primary means of balancing the budget, UA officials said. Unrestricted funds given to the UA were also moved into the budget to help cover the potential shortfall.

"We balanced the budget by cutting back wherever we could, but still kept our fundraising robust," Wyrick said. "This year we had more donors, more gifts and raised more money than in 2012."

Advancement will operate with a $13.3 million budget for fiscal year 2014, Wyrick said. Earlier this week the UA announced a third consecutive year of topping $100 million in fundraising, an area overseen by advancement.

Brad Choate, who led the office for four years, was relieved of duties after an internal audit revealed the overspending. Wyrick took Choate’s position in April 2013 and announced earlier this month a restructuring of the department. Advancement, which houses fundraising, communications, marketing, special events and the World Trade Center in Rogers, includes 154 employees.