Faculty officials set out budgetary goals each year for every division, department and office under their bailwick. During the year they keep their fingers crossed, and at its end, they punch all their figures into their computer and hope the money that came in will end up somewhere near the money they spent.
This year the "income" column exceeded the "expenses"--for the third time in a row--by about $223,000.
The surplus is not that significant an amount next to the Faculty's overall $50 million unrestricted budget. But officials from Dean Rosovsky on down are pleased that the money-saving measures Rosovsky introduced in the mid-'70s after a series of deficits have kept the Faculty in the black.
"There were a great many individual managerial decisions, but no overall scheme of cost-cutting," Rosovsky says. "The examples go from the sublime to the ridiculous."
Energy and building costs, expected to strain the budget seriously, remained within the limits budget-makers set last year--their original guesses were sufficiently gloomy.
The most unpredictable budget items were in accounting categories like "payments to other departments," "all other expenses," and "contract overhead"--money the Faculty receives from the government to pay for laboratory space and other services to professors on federal research contracts.
Richard G. Leahy, associate dean of the Faculty for resources and planning, says contract overhead income rose in proportion to an overall increase in federally-sponsored research at Harvard.
Costs for non-teaching personnel rose $400,000 more than officials had expected. Robert E Kaufmann '62, associate dean of the Faculty for finance and administration, says a complex reclassification of employees last year has slowed any analysis of the cause of the increase.
The $223,000 surplus comes after a $322,000 surplus in fiscal 1977-78 and an $80,000 surplus the previous year. But don't start dividing that amount by the number of students at the College to figure out how much money you'll save on tuition next year.
Kaufmann says the money will go into the Faculty's "fund for instruction," where all past surpluses have gone and which the Faculty uses to cover any deficit it might run "It is in a sense our bank account," Kaufmann says. In other words the Faculty is putting away its $223,000 for a rainy year.
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