Is There a Financial Crisis at PSU?

November 04, 2019 / Jose Padin

Is There a Financial Crisis at PSU?

No — PSU is in a very strong position financially! 

This comes as a surprise to all of us. For months, departments and programs have been asked to make cutbacks. 

Principal Investigators are experiencing greater burdens in grant management, as the office of Research and Graduate Studies continues to lose staff and they are not rehiring replacements.

Faculty are experiencing new burdens in teaching, as TA staffing levels have been cut below previous standards. 

Departments are told there are no funds to hire new faculty to replace retirees, much less to expand.

Brace yourselves.

The PSU end-of-year budget actuals for academic year 2019 shows a surplus of 26.8 million. Yes, this is an actual surplus, after accounting for all revenue and expenses at the end of the year. The financial health of PSU is clearly evidenced in a bond rating of A1 by Moody’s, which is very strong in general, and very strong for a public university of our means, size, and constraints.  

Have we been dragging a crisis from prior years?

No. The PSU end-of-year budgets going back to 2014-15 show a surplus for the last five years. 

  2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
Total Revenue $534,007 $559,722 $562,367 $575,099 $604,313
Total Expense* $533,094 $551,754 $560,101 $567,517 $577,487
Net $913 $7,968 $2,266 $7,582 $26,826

(All numbers are in thousands

See above for Total Revenue/Expense Graph. 

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