BANGOR (AP) – Administrators are eyeing efficiencies after three of the seven campuses in the University of Maine System operated with budget deficits last year.

A survey reported that the University of Southern Maine, the University of Maine-Machias and the University of Maine-Fort Kent all experienced budget woes according to financial figures from the University of Maine System office and interviews with campus officials.

Campuses in Orono, Farmington, Presque Isle and Augusta had budget surpluses in fiscal year 2006, according to the Bangor Daily News report.

Budgets were calculated based on unrestricted revenue, which does not include revenue from such sources as research grants and contracts and endowment funds.

The University of Southern Maine’s deficit for the 2006 fiscal year was pegged at nearly $4 million. Interim USM President Joseph Wood said progress is being made.

“The landscape is changing and we’ve got to figure out how to adjust and treat it as an opportunity,” Wood said Friday.

According to the report, UM-Machias has faced deficits since the 2002 fiscal year, but its 2006 fiscal year shortfall of $265,000 was much smaller than in the past.

“The difficulty we’re having is not in our education (budget) in general, which is our main operating budget,” said Tom Potter, vice president of finance and administration at UMM. “That actually has been in a surplus the last couple of years.”

But auxiliary enterprises, such as residence hall and dining commons fees, have lagged.

“We’ve got a low number of resident students,” Potter said.

The University of Maine at Fort Kent had a $583,000 deficit for fiscal year 2006.

“In 2006 we had a bad year, and then in the year that just ended, while the numbers haven’t been audited yet, we expect we’re going to be positive approximately $20,000,” UMFK President Richard Cost said.

The Orono campus had a revenue surplus of more than $4 million, while Augusta and Farmington recorded $1 million-plus more than anticipated and Presque Isle fell just shy of the $1 million mark, the newspaper said.

Information from: Bangor Daily News,

AP-ES-10-13-07 1157EDT

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