Letter about Audited Financial Statements - FY23

Message from the Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer:

I am pleased to present the financial statements for Suffolk University for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023 (FY23). Our external auditors have completed their audit of the financial statements and, consistent with prior years, the University received a “clean” or unmodified audit opinion.

As we closed the books for FY23 and began a new academic year in fall 2023, the University had many positive developments to celebrate. Undergraduate enrollment is growing after the challenging COVID years, and the University welcomed more than 1,200 incoming first-year students, one of the larger classes we have had over the last decade. In addition, in October Suffolk launched Workday Student, a key initiative in the Suffolk 2025 Strategic Plan that will complete our multi-year effort to modernize our core operating system. And the University’s financial health remains solid, thanks to the continued strength of our statement of financial position, endowment, and liquidity.

Management has prepared the following financial summary, in order to provide some additional context and highlights related to the University’s finances and operations.

Key items regarding information reported within the Statement of Financial Position include:

  • $251 million in long-term investments at 6/30/2023 ($255 million as of 6/30/2022)
    • The endowment comprises 99% of these investments
  • $8.1 million of other receivables, which includes a $4.2 million reimbursement due from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for funding of pandemic-related expenses
  • $424.1 million in property plant and equipment at 6/30/2023 ($433.6 million as of 6/30/2022)
    • The University takes great pride in and care of its facilities, all which are located in the heart of our campus in downtown Boston. Suffolk continuously invests in ongoing property improvements and enhancements to ensure they are well-maintained, which minimizes the accumulation of future deferred-maintenance needs.
  • Total net assets decreased from $322 million at 6/30/2022 to $312.4 million at 6/30/2023
  • The University maintained a robust liquidity position and could access funds in excess of $200 million on a daily basis from cash and investments as of June 30, 2023

Key items regarding information reported within the Statement of Activities:

For FY23, the University recorded a positive operating result of $13.9 million before depreciation expense of $17.6 million. The operating result after depreciation was a deficit of $3.7 million. This outcome resulted primarily from the remaining impact of the pandemic on enrollment levels, the return to fully normal campus operations after COVID, the lifting of cost-saving measures implemented during that time, expansion of University-sponsored student housing, as well as a challenging operational environment caused by high inflationary pressures.

  • Operating revenues increased $14 million from the prior year driven by a $9 million increase in net tuition and fees and auxiliary enterprises revenue, due to higher enrollment and increased student housing demand
  • Contributions revenue of $8.9 million was greater than last year. This included our receipt of the second-largest bequest in Suffolk history at $3.1 million
  • Operating expenses increased by $21 million, primarily due to campus operations returning back to normal, fully restoring the employer retirement contribution that was reduced as a cost-saving measure during the pandemic, and increased University-sponsored housing-related costs to meet growing student demand
  • The University utilized draws from the endowment to fund scholarship aid, general operations, capital improvements, and investments in key initiatives related to the Suffolk 2025 Strategic Plan

We are confident that the investments we have continued to make in the strategic plan will provide our students with greater support, more robust services and activities, superb facilities, and superior experiential learning opportunities for years to come. The University’s positive trajectory coming out of the pandemic positions Suffolk well for sustained future success.

Michelle A. Quinlan

Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer

See our detailed financial statements [PDF].