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BU expenditures total $1.623 billion for FY 2013

Boston University’s Annual Report, released Monday, showed that BU’s expenditures for Fiscal Year 2013 reached $1.623 billion and contributed to causes important to the school’s community and growth.

Over the course of FY 2013, BU was able to put large sums of money toward research, financial aid and construction and renovation, said BU’s Senior Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer Martin Howard.

“The Annual Report … provides a spot-on summary of the major drivers and highlights of the FY 2013 results,” Howard said. “The university was able to continue increasing the amounts available for financial aid and enhance our support of externally sponsored research.”

The total amount of research awards distributed was $339.3 million, which funded projects such as exploring the triggers of cancer in black women, designing a bionic pancreas and developing new methods of working with autistic children.

Senior Vice President of Operations Gary Nicksa said all of the university’s financial expenditures are evaluated carefully and designed to maximize the quality of the BU experience.

“The university’s strategic plan guides all major project investment decisions,” he said. “The strategic plan emphasizes the quality of BU education, research, student services and student life. Projects highlighted in the 2013 annual report are directly connected to our strategic priorities.”

As a nonprofit university, BU must operate all aspects of the school within the limits of a yearly budget, which was approximately $2 billion for FY 2013, said BU spokesman Colin Riley.

“We’re nonprofit,” Riley said. “Our goal is to operate within the budget that we establish year-to-year. It’s a very serious and deliberative approach by the senior administration. On the endowment side, there is definitely a goal to invest prudently and wisely so that we don’t put endowment funds at risk.”

A total of $70 million was allocated toward construction projects on the BU campus, which were designed to expand upon and renovate many of BU’s facilities.

“Projects described in the annual report include the expansion and restoration of our Law School buildings, which house our nationally acclaimed LAW faculty and programs, space for the Boston University Autism Center of Excellence and a National Institutes of Health funded program,” Nicksa said.

The funds were also distributed toward developing new ways to advance BU’s educational offerings, as seen with the Engineering Product Innovation Center and the new technological fixtures installed in BU’s School of Management, Nicksa said.

“[EPIC] supports an innovative curriculum that focuses on product development from design to manufacturing and delivery,” he said. “Technology enabled classrooms like those done in SMG last summer to accommodate new teaching methods and increased enrollment in the management school.”

While these latest buildings premiered on the BU campus in 2013, Nicksa said large-scale construction project require years of careful planning.

“Projects are the culmination of many years of planning that involve discussions on financing, design, contractual work, and work with the BU Community Task Force, and are not just pulled together in the course of a year,” Nicksa said. “Construction alone can span multiple years, as is the case with the work ongoing at the Law School.”

Nicksa said all of BU’s expenditures are aimed to benefit the common good of the university while also taking into account the school’s values, such as sustainability.

“Each project relates directly to one or more of our strategic priorities: teaching, research, student life, and student service,” he said. “I want to also point out that sustainability is major focus of every project, from energy efficient design and to sustainable materials selection and sourcing.”

The report also cited the financial aid dispersed in 2013 totaled $296 million, which bodes well for the school’s latest campaign to increase student financial assistance, Riley said.

“We’re in the middle of a campaign,” he said. “Part of that is going to be going toward endowment to increase student financial assistance. It goes into the endowment, is invested and from that return on investment, those funds will be made available through the university to provide more institutional financial assistance to the students.”

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