Hannibal-LaGrange University heads into new school year with balanced budget

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 9:13 PM CDT
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HANNBAL, Mo. (WGEM) - After being in a financial crisis for months, which led to discussions about closing, Hannibal-LaGrange University is sharing new details about their future.

“The university lifted the declaration of exigency on August first, thus beginning a new chapter in our history,” HLGU Transitional President Rodney Harrison said.

Administrators said they are heading into the new school year with a balanced budget.

Back in March, HLGU announced they needed $2.2 million from community members to stay afloat. They ended up getting $1.5 million in donations.

Meanwhile, the university made $2.6 million through budget cuts by getting rid of underperforming golf and wrestling programs, as well as some job positions.

“The biggest thing that has really changed is being able to adjust our offerings and academic programs to our budget realities,” Harrison said.

Harrison attributed the financial crisis to not having accurate, up-to-date financial data last year, so HLGU spent more money than its revenue could support. He said this school year will be different.

“Our leadership team now is reviewing weekly financial forecasts and cashflow reports,” Harrisons said. “We are working very closely with our business partners and community partners to make sure we are keeping current on our accounts.”

Hannibal Public School District Superintendent Susan Johnson said many of their teachers graduated from HLGU.

“We get a majority of their graduates that are in the education department we end up employing in our school district, and if we didn’t have that it would really cause a tremendous hardship,” Johnson said.

As a 1992 alumna herself, Johnson is happy the university is standing stronger this school year.

“Really am proud to be able to say that we have been great partners and neighbors together,” Johnson said.

Harrison said they are seeing a strong number of freshmen enrolled this year, but they are seeing fewer transfer students.

Harrison said they are simplifying the enrollment process this year to get more students. Students can now enroll throughout the semesters instead of just at the beginning.

The fall semester begins on August 22.

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