UNH Facing Operating Budget Holdback

Isaak Kifle

In an e-mail sent out to the UNH community last Friday, President Kaplan announced that a 10 percent holdback has been implemented to operating budgets across the university, with the exception of operating budgets involving public safety, personnel and utilities among a few others.

A holdback is essentially when an amount of money is held in reserve to cover contingencies in case of unknown or potential events. In his message, President Kaplan noted that several other universities across the nation have had to implement layoffs or eliminate academic programs in response to declining enrollment numbers. While UNH has exceeded enrollment projections in recent years, both undergraduate and graduate enrollment numbers for the fall are lower than projected.

This, in addition to the uncertain state of the economy, has led to the holdbacks. However, President Kaplan also notes that the holdbacks can be restored during the spring if enrollment numbers remain stable or increase.

Undergraduate student Elizabeth Field weighs in on the occasion: “I guess my biggest concern would be how this 10 percent holdback is going to affect me as a member of the UNH community. Will this cut affect funding to Student Activities and RSOs I’m involved in? Does this mean fewer opportunities will be available to me like financial thesis support, attending the many guest speaker lectures available or less experiential education course options? And how will this affect our tuition if we continue to see declining enrollments? Will my tuition take an upward hike? Will I see a decrease in my scholarship?”

President Kaplan notes that similar measures were once taken in the past and holdbacks were restored. While the effects of the holdback have yet to be felt by the student body, not enough time has passed, and it remains to be seen whether this is an issue that the student body has reason to worry about.