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Duke budget stays the same, increases financial aid funding

Posted May 9, 2009

 Duke University
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— A budget approved by Duke University trustees Friday is for the same amount as last year's – $1.8 billion – and increases financial aid amid the recession that has slowed donations, trimmed its endowment and crimped students' budgets.

Executive Vice President Tallman Trask III said the 2009-2010 budget financially supports the university’s strategic goals, including faculty excellence, a quality student experience and affordability.

The budget balances a projected $125 million budget shortfall over the next three years and a $1 billion drop in the endowment with a 3.9 percent tuition increase for undergraduates, increases between 2.2 percent and 9.3 percent for graduate and professional students, and numerous cost-cutting measures.

At the same time, the budget increases financial aid 17.1 percent to $114 million for undergraduates. Aid for graduate students is increased by 6.9 percent.

About 45 percent of Duke undergraduates receive an average of $26,685 in aid each year. Duke, which has a needs-blind admission policy, pledges to meet 100 percent of all demonstrated financial need for all undergraduates.

“In the face of this global recession, it is important for us to think creatively and ambitiously about how we can continue to support our most critical priorities, such as continuing to strengthen our faculty and making it possible for any outstanding undergraduate to attend Duke,” said Provost Peter Lange, the university’s top academic official.

“We are enlisting the help of as many people as possible – faculty, staff, students, deans and other administrators – as we determine how we can continue to establish our unique institutional identity," he continued.

Raises for employees making more than $50,000 have been curtailed, hiring is taking place only a strategic basis and retirement incentives have been offered to some employees. That means that salary expenses will be less than 1 percent more than last year.

New construction projects have been put off indefinitely, although planning for some continues. Other cost-cutting measures involve energy costs, contract work and phone service.

Tuition and fees account for 17.2 percent, or $314 million, of revenues in the new budget; grants and contracts supply $812 million; and gifts, endowment income and other sources supply the remaining $705 million.


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