SGA discusses financial state of college

by Stephany Christie / Beacon Staff • November 20, 2014

Maureen Murphy, vice president for administration and finance, presented the Student Government Association with the Financial State of the College at Tuesday’s meeting. She discussed the challenges Emerson faces as an enrollment-dependent institution, or one relies almost entirely on student tuition. 

She said Emerson received about 96 percent of its revenue from tuition in the 2014 fiscal year, whereas schools like Ithaca College in New York and Berklee College of Music only rely on tuition for about 80 percent of their revenue, and the other 15-20 percent is collected from alumni gifts. 

“The main problem with this is assisting financial aid,” stated Murphy. “For every dollar that we receive for tuition, 22.6 percent of it goes back to financial aid.”

Another issue the college faces is being “labor intensive”—50 percent of revenue is dedicated to staff and faculty on campus. The college is also an “aged plant,” meaning 50 percent or more of the facilities on campus are fifty years old or older and require a lot of expensive maintenance. 

Despite these setbacks, Murphy said the College still accomplished a lot in the 2014 fiscal year. She pointed out that six new faculty members were hired, two new labs were incorporated, academic facilities were renovated, Violence Prevention and Response was introduced, the fitness center was renovated, and the Emerson Los Angeles, which has since seen numerous renovations since it opened in January.