KSG Predicts Surplus for ’05

Moving past former financial woes, the Kennedy School of Government is projecting a fourth consecutive budget surplus for the upcoming fiscal year, encouraging news for a school that faced a nearly $6 million shortfall just four years ago.

“The Kennedy School has been on uncertain footing for a number of years,” David T. Ellwood ’75, the school’s dean, said in an interview last week. “Thanks to a lot of hard work...I think the school is on much stronger footing.”

Last fiscal year, the school recorded a surplus of $3.6 million, a threefold increase from the 2004 surplus.

Ellwood said he expects the financial upturn to continue.

“I don’t expect it to be large, but we hope that we can have a healthy surplus again,” Ellwood said.

He said last year’s surplus was the result of both good management and a number of events, including an unusually high yield of students accepting admission. He said the slightly higher class size did not affect academic quality, and brought in more revenue.

The Kennedy School faced hard times at the turn of the millennium. The SARS epidemic and Sept. 11 terrorist attacks contributed to the fiscal downturn, according to a Melodie L. Jackson, a spokeswoman for the school.

By fiscal year 2002, the school’s budget was $5.9 million in the red, severely depleting the school’s financial reserves.

But with last year’s surplus, the Kennedy School was able to begin refilling its coffers.

Ellwood emphasized the importance of maintaining the school’s financial reserves to prepare for unforeseen events, such as an avian flu pandemic, that could put the school in a “challenging situation.”

Overall, Ellwood said he was optimistic for the Kennedy School’s future.

“I continue to be very excited about where the school is headed,” Ellwood said. “I love being dean.”

—Staff writer Claire M. Guehenno can be reached at guehenno@fas.harvard.edu.

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