March 27 message
Good Afternoon, Welcome to this week’s blog. One of the blogging "rules" is that the blog entries should be on a regular basis and contain important information. I'll try my best on both of these, but if I fail on one of these points, at least I'm regular.
A few items to discuss this week.
The Budget: Earlier this week, Dean Durgan met by UM Connect with the Extension Leadership Council, (which includes the Regional Directors) to provide an update on the current budget situation. As we all know, the State of Minnesota is facing a large budget deficit. The University appropriation represents 4% of the State’s budget, and Extension represents 4% of the University budget. The State budget deficit and the budget decisions may be helped somewhat by the Federal Stimulus aid which will be received by the State. This one time injection of funds will help reduce the budget deficit and ease some budget decisions for the next two year budget cycle. However, there are still longer term budget issues that will be faced. In dealing with this, the Dean is running some budget scenarios with the assumption of a 5 to 8 % budget reduction. The priority in these budget models are programs and employees and working with County, State and Federal partners. If you have budget related questions, or are hearing budget concerns in your county, please contact me.
Flooding: As we all know, the city of Moorhead and areas of the lower Red River Valley are experiencing historic flooding. The people of that area, (including many of our co-workers) are experiencing horrific challenges, and our thoughts and prayers need to be with them. The Moorhead Regional Office is currently closed and the staff is working hard to move material as they prepare for the water to inundate the space this weekend.
Extension Committee Meetings: The second quarter meetings in our region start next week. One or two of the meetings may need to be moved due to schedule conflicts.
One purpose of a blog is for interactive discussion. So I encourage any comments or input that you would care to post on this blog.
Have a good weekend.