Temple University Japan: The same black box as always.

I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that, sometime over the past week, the Temple University Controller’s Office put out the audited financials for the Fiscal Year 2010. (This year, the relevant footnote is Note N.)

I looked at them a bit tonight, and what I saw was that there really wasn’t anything new. TESS, which as you may recall is Temple University Japan, is showing record revenue. (It’s also showing record expense!) But the report is a U.S. dollar-based report. Revenue for a college is mostly tuition, right? I have a question about how well the school did in yen. I have a feeling it took in less money in the Fiscal Year 2010 than in 2009, and probably isn’t doing much better so far in FY 2011.

Temple is reporting TESS revenue as $26,013,000 for FY 2010. I am going to put a exchange rate of 88 yen to the dollar on that. So this is 2.289 billion yen. (JPY 2, 289,100,000.)

TESS revenue in 2009 was reported as $25,348,000. I am going to put an exchange rate of 96 yen on that figure. So 2,433,400,000 yen. Even though the dollar value is up, the yen value is down about 6%.

Temple would be using FAS 52, now codified as ASC 830. (That will put you to sleep, huh?) So depending on the practice TESS chooses, they are either translating the yen to dollars, on their books, at the rate of the day the contract to offer classes to a student occurs, or at some blended rate for a specific time period.

That’s why I used 88 yen for 2010 and 96 yen for 2009. I know that the yen has been generally going up since July of 2007 (meaning, if you have yen and translate them into dollars, you get more dollars.) If you have yen, 88 yen got you a whole $1 in June 2010. You needed 96 yen to get a dollar in June 2009. (Nowadays, you can get a dollar for 80 yen.)

Since the yen has been averaging a straight line down for some time now, I think the numbers are fair. TESS is collecting less in yen tuition than before. I don’t think the campus is growing, I think it’s shrinking. In part, because the yen is going up. Overseas students have to pay a lot more.

The expense numbers for TESS were:

FY 2010: $24,960,000 (JPY 2.196 billion)

versus

FY 2009: $24,456,000 (JPY 2.348 billion)

Does anyone else think it’s strange that the expense numbers of TESS, year-on-year, mimicked the revenue? You’d figure that rent is a fixed cost. If rent is in the expense, it should be a consistent number, even if the number of students changes. But every year, the revenue moves, and the expense pretty much moves in tandem. It’s like there are no fixed costs.

The only clarification we get in the 2010 report is that Temple now shows a currency adjustment. This would not be for what I described above, but rather, a balance sheet item. Suppose you owe vendors and suppliers a certain amount in yen. In the month you got those services, you had to book a number. If you still owe the money at the end of the “FY” (fiscal year), you have to adjust the number for the fact that it might cost you more (or less) in dollars. That’s what the $587,000 charge is doing there.

[Update: A footnote, click to enlarge. As the Yahoo chart below shows, since July 2007, the yen has been pretty much going up and up. From a low of around 123 to the dollar, it now only takes 80.41 yen to buy the same dollar.

6 thoughts on “Temple University Japan: The same black box as always.

  1. It’s not like they have to shut Temple Japan Campus. So many people have pointed out that the Japanese university system has a lot of spare capacity. Why doesn’t the Japanese government just give Temple space, in appreciation for the school doing its activities in Japan?

    The problem with the current set-up, as it seems to me to be, is that there is some rental charge being paid to a Tokyo landlord that is, for all intents and purposes, a secret. That’s all.

    The people of Pennsylvania pay in a couple extra million in cash money to support Temple. Temple turns around and rents space in downtown Tokyo. The money ultimately goes out of the taxpayer pockets, and into the bank account of some Tokyo landlord. Now you see it, now you don’t. Maybe that’s OK, I don’t know.

    I’m sure if the people of Pennsylvania were given all the facts–which I hope they will be starting in about a month or two–they would also see it my way.

  2. I wish you`d look into how the L.A. school district which is all but broke was able to justify spending some 500 million dollars to build ONE public high school.

    [Hoofin’s Note: I really haven’t come up with a policy about You Tube links, but I reserve the right to disable them. My blog really isn’t about providing a format for other people on You Tube to get their messaging across to my readership. If this is you, then fine. If it’s just some viral thing that someone who isn’t so literate wants to get out there, then they are out of luck.

    I’m going to let this one go, but I have to think about it.]

    [Further Note: Wait, do you actually listen to these? This guy simply sounds like someone no one would listen to, even though he has a valid point about LA spending $500 million on a high school when California has been in dire straits. However, to get back to my own post above, which is what the comments are really supposed to be about, at least the $500 million stayed in Los Angeles. It’s not sitting in another country.]

  3. —-at least the $500 million stayed in Los Angeles…—

    Perhaps no state better represents Dem ideology than California and Cal. is a complete mess financially but it really doesn`t matter. It`s just another in long line of wasteful government spending. I will be the first to agree that neither party (Dems/Reps) helps the middle class very much. However, unless you’re working for the Fed, state or local government or hold a union job in the private sector I see no reason to vote for a Dem these days. As poorly as the Rep. run things at least they usually aren`t going to hit you up for more fees/taxes. To say nothing of ramming major legislation (Obamacare) through which a major of people were still very uneasy about.

    1. There are numerous reasons to vote for a Democrat instead of a Republican. The Republicans have been gutting the U.S. Treasury for years. The Republicans fail to stand up for the rule of law. The Republicans involve in costly overseas wars, on more than one front, against shadow enemies.

      The Republicans are not true to their own party’s original principles about civil rights. The Republicans mislead the American public about the need for energy security and the need for a sound policy about climate change. The Republicans mislead (as you did above) about what the tax burden is on the middle class AND the fact that the Democrats tend to cut taxes for the middle class, not raise them. The Republicans have done nothing but lie about the recent Health Care Reform and what its provisions actually say.

      I could go on, but I am tired of pointless debates that aren’t based on facts.

  4. I think it can be strongly argued that no state in the union better represents the ideals of the Democratic Party than California. A state where bloated government pensions, inept spending and waste have all but ruined the place.

    And I don`t doubt for a second that the Obama administration wouldn`t raise taxes through the roof for the middle class if they thought they could get away with it.

    1. Wait a minute!

      In this comment thread: a href=”https://hoofin.wordpress.com/2010/10/06/getting-your-visa-renewed-in-japan-under-shifting-sands/#comment-1258″ , you are talking about ways to ramp up your social security benefit that look to me to be either illegal or highly questionable.

      Yet, on this thread, you are complaining that you think California represents the national Democratic party, and that because their pension system is out of whack, we should impute something to every other Democrat.

      This is typical of the contemporary Republican talking points. Which is it? Do you just get your bennies, or is everyone entitled to something?

      It reminds me of these overweight Tea Party retirees. They get a lot of benefits from the government, and we also cover them for their diet-induced heart disease. Yet they say that all the other people are undeserving and living off them! Which is it?

      If the Republicans take back the House, all the free money that is being funneled out of the New York metro area and into these rural districts is going to be questioned. If we are all going to “clean up our acts”, the regions of the country that are subsidized by the New Yorks and Californias are going to be making some serious sacrifices.

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