The University of New Hampshire is entering a $600,000 contract with the consulting group Huron to review UNH’s financials, according to an email sent to UNH faculty and staff Tuesday.
The partnership comes as UNH seeks to build financial strength. Part of that initiative also includes hiring a new CFO, and creating a new budget office, in addition to the existing financial affairs office. Building financial strength is one of four strategic priorities introduced by UNH President Jim Dean in January.
UNH spokesperson Erika Mantz said in an emailed statement that UNH “gave a lot of thought to this” $600,000 agreement, and that the university isn’t experiencing financial challenges much different from challenges that all higher education is experiencing today.
“This is a proactive step, one that hundreds of universities have taken, to ensure we are pursuing revenue opportunities as well as using our limited financial resources as effectively as we can,” Mantz said.
But New Hampshire’s universities receive less state funding than almost any other university system in the country, and as tuition rises every year, more students are leaving the state. First-year student enrollment is down 9.4% across the state’s universities this year.
Mantz says the partnership with Huron will result in a good return on investment, an anticipated $12 million in benefits, or 2% of UNH’s current operating budget over the next two years as a result of following up on those recommendations, Mantz said.
Huron will start its review of UNH next week, and turn over recommendations for the university in December.