Boschini: TCU stadium renovation the reason for drop in grant money for FY2012

Boschini: TCU stadium renovation the reason for drop in grant money for FY2012

This story has been updated to show that $496.4 million is the amount of total projected expenditures for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

The amount of money that TCU received in grants and contributions in fiscal year 2012 was significantly lower than in FY2011, and with good reason- the university wasn’t actively fundraising to build a stadium in 2012.

TCU’s two-year, $164 million renovation to Amon G. Carter Stadium is the primary reason for the $83.5 million decrease in grants and contributions on TCU’s FY2012 990 filing, Chancellor Victor Boschini said.

“Of course [the amount of donations] is going to look like less money because there’s no drive to build a stadium this year. It’s not really an accurate comparison,” Boschini said. “You can’t compare the biggest fundraising year in TCU’s history to the next one because of the stadium.”

TCU reported just over $57.5 million in grants and contributions for FY2012, as opposed to $141 million in FY2011. 

The 990 also lists a $3.1 million decrease in investment income, a figure that Associate Vice Chancellor and Controller Cheryl Wilson wrote is due to “significant drops in interest rates and natural gas prices.”

Wilson added that TCU continued its normal fundrasing efforts for FY2012 and is on track to do the same for FY2013.

Another contributing factor for TCU’s expense amount listed on the form is $16.8 million in postretirement benefit actuarial charges for salaries and employee benefits. According to Wilson, the amount is a non-cash expense that was higher in FY2012 than in other years because of a decrease in the discount rate for the benefits, which was preceded by declining interest rates.    

“It’s a calculation that actuaries perform estimating the future liability for paying out retiree health insurance benefits based upon the demographics of the employee population,” Wilson said. “There’s no actual formula; it’s more of an art than a science. They’re not pricing the benefits in today’s dollars because it’s not an amount that has to be paid off right away.”   

TCU Director of Communication and Marketing Lisa Albert wrote in an email that TCU is required to list certain non-cash items on the form 990, which, when tallied with the operating budget, appears to show a loss.

“However, TCU's operating budget, which is a more accurate picture of TCU's financial situation, continues to be positive year over year,” Albert wrote.

According to TCU’s fiscal operating budget for 2014, the university is on track to come in under budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. The budget lists $498.6 million in total projected revenues and $496.4 million in total projected expenditures for the 2012-2013 year.