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Health/Sci Center ups CWC balance sheet; audit comes in clean

Dec 3, 2013 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

Central Wyoming College had a clean audit this year, earning an "unmodified opinion" from the auditing firm McGee, Hearne and Paiz of Cheyenne.

Auditor Wayne Herr said his company made no significant findings when combing through CWC's financial records this year.

"And it's not for lack of trying," he joked, congratulating the school's staff for their work. "Most of my clients have some (findings), but we didn't have any. (That's) important in the integrity aspect."

He acknowledged that the auditing process can be complex, but Herr said it is important that auditors be thorough when monitoring institutions that benefit from taxpayer dollars.

"It's not only to protect the public," he told the CWC Board of Trustees. "It's also a way to help you ... so you can have comfort that the information you receive as part of the financial reporting process through the college can be relied on."

Assets

From June 30, 2012, to June 30, 2013, CWC's total net assets increased by almost $9 million, from $48.5 million in 2012 to $57.3 million in 2013.

"The biggest addition to that is our construction in progress," said Ron Granger, CWC's vice president for administrative services. "That is the Health and Science Center."

Last year, CWC budgeted $4.1 million for construction in process, but in 2013 the number was $16.3 million.

Revenues

In total, CWC's revenues added up to almost $37 million this fiscal year, up more than $200,000 from 2012, when $36.7 million came in.

In contrast, the school's operating expenses were only up by about $20,000, from $34.29 million in 2012 to $34.31 million in 2013. Granger said administrators planned ahead to make those numbers work despite budget reductions at the state level.

"We knew we'd have to take some cuts," Granger said. "So in a sense, even though we had extra money that came in, we didn't use all that money to do everything. We saved some (for) fiscal year 2014. ... Instead of having a $200,000 increase in revenue and spending all of that, we put it back so we could carry it forward."

Operating

Granger explained the difference between operating revenues, which come from student tuition and fees, and non-operating revenues, which are generated through state appropriations and local mill levies.

Herr said operating revenues provided 24 percent of CWC's income in fiscal year 2013, down from 30 percent in fiscal year 2012 and 36 percent in fiscal year 2011. The numbers are dwindling in part because of a decrease in federal grants and contracts through programs like the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

"The big change on income statements is you didn't have ARRA funds this last year from federal stimulus money," Herr said. "That was quite a drop."

Operating revenues from federal grants and contracts added up to $3.2 million this year, down from $5 million in 2012.

Tuition has gone up 5 percent each year, but full-time enrollment also is decreasing. CWC's full-time enrollment for fiscal year 2013 was nearly 1,700, down from almost 1,780 in 2012. Because of the tuition increases, however, income from tuition and fees was up about $300,000 in 2013, from $3.4 million in 2012 to $3.65 million this past fiscal year.

Fund 10

Granger pointed to CWC's "Fund 10," the budget that holds revenues from CWC's four mills. Administrators budgeted $20.9 million in revenues and expenses for the fund this year, and Granger said he was pleased that the actual amount for expenditures was about $2 million less than anticipated.

"(That's) where I'm always glad we're off," he said. "We're conservative. We do the best we can with what we have."

He credited the entire staff for being responsible with expenses from property taxes.

"It's not just one person or one group," Granger said. "It's everybody on campus."

Actual revenues were only down by about $45,000 compared to expectations.