UM-Helena College of Technology

General Funds Operating Budget Plan FY05

Executive Summary

Looking to FY05, UM-Helena College of Technology faces major challenges in FY05 that limit its potential to serve the Helena region and the State of Montana.



  • Stagnant revenue, in the face of a 20% increase in the cost of utilities, greatly increased healthcare costs, and bad debt expense
  • Constraints of the flat-spot of 12 credit hour tuition
  • Increased competition for declining numbers of MT high school graduates
  • Inability to reach non-traditional markets (awareness of options, sufficient volume to serve profitably, lack of funding to risk new ventures, etc.)
  • Short staff, limiting capacity to serve multiple and various needs
  • Budget cuts in recent years creating stagnation and decline (capital equipment, facilities, professional development, etc.)
  • Morale issues resulting from the biennial pay-freeze
  • Looming faculty retirements (funding of pay-outs)
  • Financial constraints to pursue grants, foundation support, other revenue
  • More than 80% of the general funds budget devoted to personnel costs
  • Dependence on backfill from UM-Missoula for more than 12% of the general funds budget



  • Sustainable Growth Initiative for MKT/PR to enhance awareness, and attraction, as well as service systems to aid retention
  • The Building Initiative before the 2005 Legislature to attract and serve new and additional clientele
  • General Education (transfer) degrees A.A. and A.S. creating options for regional clients (place-bound, lower income, new-comers to post-secondary education, opportunity shoppers , developmentally needy, etc.)
  • Training partnerships with business/agencies for additional revenue streams


While there is great potential for UM-Helena College of Technology (and the MUS as a whole) to serve the educational needs of the region and the State and thus contribute to the Montana economy, lack of capacity to do so contributes to frustration and disillusionment. UM-Helena faces a revenue crisis. Our current revenue streams (student tuition and state allocation base) no longer allow for effective practice that would result in our reaching our potential. UM-Helena remains guardedly hopeful that Montana will invest in its education resources and their capacity to positively affect the economy of Montana.