At the beginning of every fiscal school year, Wesleyan’s staff and President Frederick Slabach sit down and plan the budget for the upcoming year, taking into account old debt.
As Slabach mentioned at convocation, Wesleyan has been working on restructuring its debt, which will allow for long-term stability.
“It’s just a restructuring of our former debts,” Karen Montgomery, vice president of finance and administration, said. “It [allows] for some levelizing of the payments, reduced interest cost and provided some liquidity for those periods of time in between semesters when we’re not receiving tuition.”
Montgomery said it is a good thing for the university because it will insure there is a balanced budget, but it also ultimately helps the students.
“By restructuring our debt, it allows us to maintain the increases that are necessary for tuition and fees,” Montgomery said. “It allows us to keep those at the minimum.”
Montgomery said the well-being of the students was a key focus for Slabach’s discussions about the current budget, and will remain the focus going forward.
Montgomery said the restructuring plan kicks into full swing in the spring and the current plan will be good for the next 10 years.
“When you have the university’s debt [plan] in place for that long, you don’t have to revisit it on an annual basis so it provides some stability,” Montgomery said.
John Veilleux, vice president of marketing and communications, said one easy way of looking at it is to imagine after buying a brand new car, on which you are paying a seven-year note, you get something in the mail from a local credit union advertising a cheap interest rate for new cars and you decide to take advantage of that lower interest rate. That would lead to more money being saved.
“That, in essence, is a debt restructure,” Veilleux said.
Veilleux said essentially that is what Texas Wesleyan is doing with its debt. It is more advantageous, and the school will save money.
“We’re just operating in a much more complex world,” Veilleux said.
Carla Tennison-Coleman, senior political science major, said the budget restructuring sounds like a good idea and seems like it will be a benefit to the university.
“It seems like a good thing,” Tennison-Coleman said. “If it saves money for the university down the road, that will ultimately benefit us students.”
Tristian Evans, firstname.lastname@example.org