CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Marshall University Board of Governors unanimously approved a budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year at a meeting Tuesday amid the controversy surrounding President Stephen Kopp's recent abrupt attempt at a financial overhaul.
In April, in an attempt to prepare for a $5 million cutback in state funding next year, Kopp moved all revenue accounts for the university's departments into one consolidated account overnight to analyze.
Faculty, who were not informed of the decision until after the fact, were outraged, ultimately leading them to take a vote of no confidence in Kopp last month.
On Tuesday, Kopp praised the "budget working group" recently created to address the university's financial issues; the group is made up of deans, faculty, staff and student representatives.
"We worked very diligently together in solving the problem that was presented to us as a result of reductions in state appropriations and increased projections of expenditures," Kopp said. "We did it through a great deal of give and take and sharing of information. It's a reflection of what happens when folks can work together and do work together."
Marshall officials started out with a $6.8 million deficit and "tailored that down" to a budget with a projected surplus of about $43,000.
Matt Turner, Kopp's chief of staff, said Tuesday that major changes include a reduction to the salary enhancement pool.
Carol Hurula, a budget analyst for the university and designated as a member of the budget workshop, said despite the controversy the group has worked well together toward fixing the university's finances.
"Our goal has always been to try to come up with a balanced budget," she said. "From what I saw, there was no hostility. It was always open discussion. You could bring up any questions you wanted, and they tried to address it and bring it all to the table."
Also at Tuesday's meeting, the BOG approved a policy banning tobacco products on campus. The tobacco policy applies to any and all indoor and outdoor locations.
However, events that attract a large number of off-campus visitors to Marshall's campus may be exempt on a case-by-case basis, provided that all smoking is restricted to designated outdoor smoking areas.
The new policy goes into effect July 1.
Reach Mackenzie Mays at mackenzie.m...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4814.