Monday Minute, June 8, 2009

Dear Colleagues,

Last week marked the official end of the academic year from a payroll perspective, and we had the last of a number of farewell fetes for colleagues retiring after many decades of service at the University: Rose Blixt, David Bowers, Clint Hewitt, Arlene Jones-Swenson, and Gloria Williams. Last week also saw the departure of Jan Sickbert for a position in the University of Minnesota Foundation, where she will work with several colleges, including ours. We will miss their tremendous personal dedication and their long institutional memory. Since many faculty and staff could not be at their parting events, I wanted to recognize them here and thank them for their years of commitment and contributions to our academic community.

Last week also brought some good financial news for us. We received word that the University would advance us bridge funds of $700,000 from federal economic stimulus money to give us time to generate new revenues and balance our budget. Although we still have to cut about $400,000, in addition to the $1.2 million in deficit reduction this coming year, the bridge money will give us breathing room and let us pursue some of the most promising revenue ideas.

We also received the first installment of a bequest from the estate of the late Ann Salovich, a lovely woman who cared deeply about the environment and who left major gifts to both the Institute on the Environment and to our college. Specified as a dean's discretionary fund, the Salovich gift will provide us with needed investment money, and I will work with my fellow deans to develop an allocation process. This could not have come at a better time!