Monday Minute, June 1, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

We have received more precise information about our budget for next year, and it isn't good. Earlier this year, the University asked each college to model a 5% and an 8% cut to its budget. For us, getting out of our structural deficit of $1.2 million meant cutting our budget 5%, and we argued that any further reduction would be very painful and too much to do all in one year. Nevertheless, we did as the University requested and showed in our compact what an 8% cut might look like.

On Thursday, the University notified us that they would reduce our central allocation by $1.1 million on top of the $1.2 million deficit we already planned to cut, with the two numbers together comprising roughly 10% of our collegiate budget. We also heard that the provost's office remained open to the possibility of covering at least some of this cut with economic-stimulus funding for one year in order to give us time to generate revenue to fill the financial hole.

The deans and department heads will meet tomorrow morning to discuss options, and I will meet immediately afterward with the provost to advocate for as much bridge funding as possible to reduce the severity of these reductions and to give us time to bring in additional funds. I will let you know how these discussions go. I also plan to do a virtual presentation, which you can watch online and respond by e-mail, to provide you with more details about our situation and our options. I would greatly value your input once you see the presentation and I promise that this one will be shorter than the last!