Truman State University’s student employment budget ran a surplus during the 2016-2017 school year — part of a smaller-than-usual surplus of about half a million dollars in the general budget.
The surplus in the student employment budget was anticipated and was the result of a number of factors. In part, the surplus was the product of some money for student scholarships coming from the budget. Additionally, some departments did not use all their allocated funds for student employment.
Dave Rector, vice president for administration, finance and planning, said the surplus is perfectly normal. He said there is extra money in the budget to account for fluctuations in annual spending, citing the utilities budget as an example. Rector said the University generally runs an overall budget surplus, and the extra money goes into a fund to pay for building renovations and upgrades.
“Normally we have a decent surplus overall,” Rector said. “Most people don’t spend every dime in their budget, and we don’t encourage that.”
This year, though, Rector said the surplus was slightly less than usual because of the cuts in state funding. Instead of the usual surplus of approximately $1 million, the surplus was around $562,000.
Rector said student employees at Truman are generally paid the Missouri state minimum wage, with the exception being a small number of skilled students in special positions. He said some colleges have a multi-tiered system where students who have worked in positions longer make more money, but such a system has not been seriously considered at Truman. However, Rector said it is not difficult for students to find work on campus.
“Typically, if students need a job, we’ll find a job for them,” Rector said.
Rector said some departments did not use all of the money that was allocated for them to student employment and cited Baldwin Auditorium as an example. The Auditorium has some money allocated for student employment, but was closed last year, therefore employing no students. Rector said it made more sense to keep this money in the budget so it did not have to be removed and put in again last year.