The results from the 2020 audit were highlighted by the University’s independent auditing firm, Suttle and Stalnaker, during today’s Board of Governors meeting. The findings presented demonstrated the University concluded its fiscal year in strong financial standing for the third consecutive year. This performance highlights the University’s continued focus on strategic and cost saving/containment initiatives implemented by the administration in January of 2018. Since 2018, the University has seen a $12 million turnaround in its net positive position.
“Many contributors have enabled us to end the fiscal year with an increase in net position of $5.2M, including changes implemented to improve efficiency and continuing to be conscience of costs,” said Christa Kwiatkowski, Fairmont State University Chief Financial Officer. “To have three years of positive net position changes is quite a feat in the current higher education environment.”
Fairmont State received an unmodified opinion on its audit, achieving the highest status it can receive and continuing the tradition of excellence in financial reporting. The results indicated the University’s financials were fairly and accurately presented with no uncorrected statements.
“The efforts to further strengthen the University’s financial standing were evident throughout the campus community and reflected in the audit results,” said David Goldberg, Fairmont State University Board of Governors Chair. “As we move forward, the University will remain financially responsible, while keeping students, faculty investment and staff support at the forefront and ensuring quality education opportunities at Fairmont State. Our University community is laser focused on our academic programming to benefit our students and so pleased the faith the faculty, staff and students have in Fairmont State University offerings and our quality education offered.”
In addition to the audit results, the University’s Composite Financial Indicator (CFI) ratios were reviewed. Fairmont State’s accrediting body, the Higher Learning Commission, calculates CFI ratios annually by reviewing financial and non-financial data for specific risk indicators. Preliminary calculations show Fairmont State University’s CFI Score is “above the zone” at 2.66, indicating strong financial stability for the third year in a row.
“If the past several months of uncertainty has taught us anything, it’s that financial health is vital to any organization, especially a higher education institution,” said Mirta M. Martin, Fairmont State University President. “In spite of the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, our financial health, and our ability to respond to unexpected events was never in doubt because I have faith in the resolve of our faculty, staff and students. There will be more challenges in the future, and Fairmont State’s extraordinary financial strength, as borne out by this 2020 audit, gives us the confident agility and adaptability to continue to faithfully serve our students by offering our trademark transformative, accessible and affordable education.”