University of Minnesota Duluth
 
 

 Office of the Chancellor

February 2014 Archives

Audio Town Hall Meeting on February 24

Campus Community,

Here is the link for the audio from the Town Hall meeting on Monday, February 24, 2014 regarding Program Prioritization and Budget.

http://youtu.be/6d0azIdHezE


Lendley C. Black
Chancellor
________________
Chancellor's Office
University of Minnesota Duluth
515 Darland Administration Building
1049 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812
218.726.7106
218.726.6535 (fax)
Support the U


Posted on February 24, 2014 1:42 PM | Permalink


Audio links for the Faculty Assembly, Staff Council and Student Association meetings with President Kaler

Campus Community,

Here are the audio links for the Faculty Assembly, Staff Council and Student Association meetings with President Kaler on Monday, February 17.

Student Association. http://youtu.be/IlKUgZDtz7E

Staff Council. http://youtu.be/Kl4MlJFOz9A

Faculty Assembly. http://youtu.be/7WozBr6PXY4

Lendley C. Black
Chancellor
________________
Chancellor's Office
University of Minnesota Duluth
515 Darland Administration Building
1049 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812
218.726.7106
218.726.6535 (fax)
Support the U


Posted on February 24, 2014 12:36 PM | Permalink


Program Prioritization Update

Dear Campus Community:

I am sending you budget and program prioritization updates in preparation for our Town Hall meeting, Monday, February 24, at 3:30 p.m. in the Kirby Ballroom. The purpose of this meeting is to provide an opportunity for the campus to come together and explore how we will collaborate on solutions to the challenges we face.

Some faculty, staff, students and administrators have expressed varying degrees and types of frustration about UMD's budget challenge and program prioritization. I have to admit, I have also been frustrated over the past few weeks and months. This is difficult work, and I am absolutely confident that we are more than capable of rising above the frustrations and challenges if we work together and keenly focus on what is best for our students.

I know it is tempting to cast blame on others for these challenges. I've been tempted to do so myself, especially for decisions that were made prior to me coming to UMD. But it is clear this route will do us no good. Instead, we must focus on dealing with the present and in establishing a strong foundation for the future. I accept responsibility for my own actions and for the welfare of UMD as we move forward to even greater accomplishments.

There were several positive outcomes from our meetings with University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler and his budget staff last Monday at UMD. Clearly, UMD is a jewel in the crown of the University of Minnesota system and they are as committed as we are to advancing our distinctive mission and vision and to keeping UMD strong.

In preparation for this Monday's meeting, I am sending you the latest information regarding UMD's budget and program prioritization. I encourage you to look at this information prior to the meeting and be ready to ask questions and make comments.

The latest facts regarding our budget target are these:
• Over the past few months, UMD's finance staff and representatives of the Twin Cities budget office have collaborated on a thorough analysis of UMD's fiscal year 2014 budget, including both recurring and non-recurring revenues and expenditures.
• This process was completed last Friday, and we now have confidence in establishing an updated budget target of $9.4 million.
• As I indicated last fall, we also have a non-recurring deficit. We have taken steps to reduce that deficit, and it now stands at $3.3 million.
• We will address this budget challenge through a combination of cost reductions, revenue increases, and collaborations with the Twin Cities senior leadership.
• We will NOT just cut from our recurring budget, and we do NOT have to reach this budget target in just one year. President Kaler and his team are strong partners with us and they are helping us develop successful strategies.

The latest facts regarding program prioritization are these:
• Program prioritization is just one of several tools to help us address our budget challenges.
• There are potential benefits from program prioritization that will help increase efficiency, cut administrative costs, and keep our focus on excellence and our core mission. We will do a number of things differently to achieve these benefits. We will implement changes in ways that focus on what we do best and how we can position UMD to become stronger and achieve new heights of excellence.
• The latest program prioritization results are attached.
• As you examine the proposed changes in this document, you will see that IF we implement all of the items suggested, we will reduce expenses across units by $2.5 million and increase revenues by nearly $700,000.
• I emphasize that the program prioritization results are in draft form and for discussion purposes only. Final decisions (not impacted by voluntary layoff) will not be made until the campus has the opportunity to discuss the proposed changes.

Thank you again for your commitment to UMD and your hard work on behalf of our students. I am committed to more frequent and direct communications with the campus community, and will try to keep them succinct. However, at this point, I would rather share too much information with you than not enough. It is important that we are all working off the same set of facts.

Best wishes,

Chancellor Black
________________
Chancellor's Office
University of Minnesota Duluth
515 Darland Administration Building
1049 University Drive
Duluth, MN 55812
218.726.7106
218.726.6535 (fax)

DRAFT Program Prioritization Strategies February 20 2014-3.pdf


Posted on February 20, 2014 4:23 PM | Permalink


President Kaler's Visit to UMD Monday, February 17

Dear Members of the UMD Community,

It is a pleasure for me to announce that University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler, along with Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Richard Pfutzenreuter, and Budget Director Julie Tonneson will be at UMD on Monday, February 17. President Kaler, Vice President Pfutzenreuter, and Director Tonneson will answer questions about the University of Minnesota budget process and address other areas of interest to the UMD community.

The schedule of meetings includes:

Student Association Congress: 1-1:45 p.m., Griggs Center

Faculty Assembly: 2-3:00 p.m., Kirby Ballroom

Staff Council: 3:00-3:45 p.m., Griggs Center

As I indicated to the campus last fall, we are taking a multifaceted approach to resolve the budget issues at UMD. Unfortunately, rumors and misinformation regarding UMD's budget status and allocations continue. Some media reports are misleading and wrong. Many of the comparisons of funding between UMD and the Twin Cities are incorrect.

To reiterate what I said in the town hall, faculty and staff meetings last fall, UMD has a significant budget challenge resulting from a variety of issues including actual tuition revenues coming in below budgeted projections due to a drop in student enrollment, planned and approved expense reductions in 2011 that were not fully implemented at UMD, and a problem with the way fringe benefit costs had been handled within the budget at UMD for many years.

As I have indicated, we are addressing this challenge by reducing expenses, finding new efficiencies, increasing revenues, and seeking assistance from the senior systemwide leaders in the Twin Cities. We are making progress on all strategies, and having President Kaler and Vice President Pfutzenreuter, and Director Tonneson on campus further solidifies the assistance we are getting from the system leaders. Their visit will also provide an opportunity to further clarify the role they play in UMD's budget process.

While I continue to be a strong advocate for UMD's budget, I want to be sure we are using accurate benchmarks within the University of Minnesota system. Many of the analyses that have been circulating and published are simply inaccurate. Straight comparisons between UMD's budget and the Twin Cities campus budget are flawed. There are four points I would like to emphasize:

• The source document for the data analysis that was initially published in the Statesman and subsequently shared among some on campus is configured around the University's organizational/budgetary structure and was never intended to represent a geographic display of revenues and expenditures. Some allocations in the source document are allocated to a Vice President or Dean who is organizationally located on the Twin Cities campus, but has a state-wide mission and responsibility. To illustrate the problem of using this data to compare campuses, is the fact that the analysis attributes $89 million in stimulus funds to the Twin Cities campus when the funds were actually used in large part to provide system-wide undergraduate scholarships.
• The cost structure of the instruction, research and public service mission activities on each campus is not equal. UMD and the Twin Cities campuses have unique missions, activities and characteristics. We will continue to advocate for resources to further the UMD mission and vision.
• Multiple revenue sources support mission activities on each campus. State appropriation is just one piece of the combined total of appropriation and tuition. A major factor contributing to our budget challenges (and those of other units in the University system) is that over several years the state reduced the University's appropriation, and the University responded by increasing revenue from tuition. Units with large undergraduate student enrollment, such as UMD, became more tuition dependent, and thus, our revenues took a major hit when enrollment declined.
• The good news is that UMD's state operations and maintenance appropriation for fiscal year 2014 has increased, and this allocation will increase again in fiscal year 2015. Our new student enrollment was up this year and projections are that we will see another increase next year.

We need to be diligent in understanding the University's budget process and advocating for changes that will best position UMD for success. We will be most successful if we approach solutions through a partnership, as opposed to accusations based upon inappropriate comparisons. I have every confidence that the health and success of UMD are a priority for President Kaler and the system leadership team, and I believe that they will work with us to find solutions. That does not mean that we won't need to make tough decisions, but it does mean we have a strong partner.

The next steps in the Program Prioritization process were shared in January with the members of the University Coordinating Council and the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee, and were also posted online on the Shared Governance committee and the Program Prioritization websites. It will be discussed at the next Strategic Planning and Budget Committee meeting and at a town hall meeting within the next few weeks. Please contact a member of this committee or me directly if you have questions, reactions, or suggestions regarding Program Prioritization.

In addition to the the Program Prioritization Next Steps, three-step process of working with system leaders on the budget solution is available in UMD Financial Planning with the Twin Cities University Budget and Finance Office. We have completed the first two steps and are on schedule with the one remaining.

Along with the Program Prioritization process, the campus administrative units have been finalizing the Voluntary Workforce Reduction program. The work plans are in the final review stage, and staff and faculty who have applied for the program will soon be notified. I appreciate your patience as we worked through the details of this program to ensure that we were meeting UMD's needs as well as those of our valued employees, while helping to solve the budget challenges.

Meanwhile, I hope that you heard the exciting news that Maurices is donating its downtown Duluth headquarters building to UMD. The 75,000-square-foot building will be available to UMD in 2016 after Maurices moves into its new headquarters being built on West Superior Street. Plans include using the space to teach courses that involve interaction with the downtown community, offering continuing education and certificate programs, hosting classes for adult learning, offering space for conferences, and expanding partnerships with other higher education and K-12 schools.

Thank you again for the outstanding work you do for UMD. I truly appreciate your efforts and commitment as we continue to keep our focus on academic quality and providing an exemplary education for our students during challenging times.

Best Wishes,

Chancellor Black


Posted on February 14, 2014 9:07 AM | Permalink