The State of Minnesota budget forecast was released this week, showing a major budget deficit anticipated to be more than $1.2 billion for the 2010-11 biennium. Though not a surprise, the latest forecast does show a much deeper state budget challenge than anticipated.
The decisive action that the University and Extension have taken over the last two years in response to these budget challenges have well positioned us to face this extended period of financial difficulty. However, we must continue to work together to find new sources of funding, reduce administrative and overhead costs and make strategic investments that build on our future.
Our organizational decisions have been and will continue to be based on our decision-making principles:
- Extension will continue to program for local, regional and statewide impact.
- Extension is committed to being the "front door" for University resources.
- Extension will maintain and strengthen our partnerships with counties and colleges.
- All Extension funds will be managed as investments for documented outcomes.
- All programs and operations will require increased accountability with clear deliverables and measured outcomes.
I appreciate the effort all of you are making to enhance funding through grants and other sources while reducing costs wherever possible. While the next few years may not be easy, I am confident that our commitment to meeting our mission with fiscal responsibility well positions Extension to remain a strong and vital part of the state and the University.
Please feel free to submit your questions, comments or ideas on the Extension and the Economy website where you will also find related information and resources.