Georgetown recently took steps toward greater financial accountability, as the university’s Board of Directors announced earlier this month that the university’s operating deficit for the ongoing fiscal year will fall significantly short of previous projections. According to the board’s recently approved five-year financial plan, the university stands to operate at a $9.5 million deficit for the 2007 fiscal year, which ends June 30. The board predicted a $19.1 million deficit for the 2007 fiscal year in last year’s financial plan. The board also decided earlier this month to increase undergraduate tuition by 6 percent for the second consecutive year, to over $35,500. University spokeswoman Julie Bataille said that the recent projections indicate that Georgetown has improved its financial standing in recent years and will continue to work toward a balanced budget. Last year, the Board of Directors postponed the university’s goal to eliminate its deficit by two years to 2010, a plan which was renewed at the board’s meetings earlier this month. The board also projected that the university’s deficit would increase by over $4 million for the 2008 fiscal year to $14 million, citing increased funding for new capital projects. Funding for the Office of Advancement will increase by $8.2 million next year. The Board also agreed to increase financial aid funding by 7 percent for the 2008 fiscal year. “We are optimistic about our financial performance and the improvements we’ve seen in recent years and want to be strategic in order to continue to invest in important areas,” Bataille said. The university expects to bring in $789.6 million during the 2007 fiscal year and spend $799.1 million, according to the recent financial plan. Georgetown’s $9.5-million operating deficit will be one of its smallest operating losses in recent years. The university’s operating deficit totaled $34 million for the 2003 fiscal year, $6.3 million for the following year and $14.2 million for 2005. Much of Georgetown’s recent financial gain can be attributed to the improved fiscal performance of the university’s Medical Center. The Medical Center turned an $83 million operating loss during the 1999 fiscal year and has cumulatively lost over $340 million since 1995. After the university decided to sell the Georgetown University Hospital to edStar Health in 2000 and to lay off dozens of Medical Center employees in 2004, the Medical Center recorded a comparatively modest $16.9 million operating deficit in 2006, an increase of $1 million from the previous year’s deficit. “The Medical Center continues to make progress reducing its own deficit,” Bataille said. “We have beat budget expectations three years in a row and are on target to be in balance on the same schedule as last year.” University Chief Financial Officer Chris Augostini, who could not be reached for comment for this report, told the university newspaper Blue and Gray that the reduced deficit shows that the university has taken steps toward improving its financial accountability in recent years. “If you look at where we were three and a half years ago and where we are today . Georgetown really has turned a financial corner,” he told Blue and Gray.

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