About $10 million in campus spending, including $5 million in administrative and support services, will be cut for the next academic year, according to Chancellor Robert C. Holub.
In an April 13 e-mail message to the campus community, Holub outlined a budget plan to streamline administrative costs and “focus as many resources as possible on faculty hiring and retention going forward.” The plan calls for 45 faculty hires over the next few years using reallocated funds created through reorganization and administrative cuts.
The expected infusion of federal stimulus monies will help the campus avoid “wide-scale layoffs,” said Holub. “The federal government, through the guidelines for use of the stimulus/stabilization funds for higher education, has been very clear that this support is designed to save and create jobs. In this budget plan we do exactly that.”
Holub said the proposed campus budget also responds to other issues raised by the government’s stimulus allocation. “We are also directed to invest this temporary funding to avoid what the federal guidelines call the ‘funding cliff’ that will come when this funding ends in two years. If we were to avoid reductions now, then the institution could face destabilizing and even disastrous budget cuts in two years. To avoid taking this step, therefore, would be not only imprudent, but irresponsible.”
Holub said the campus budget addresses academic priorities by limiting cuts to schools and colleges to an average of 2.3 percent, while non-academic units will be cut an average of 4 percent. In addition, instructional capacity will be preserved in the short term by hiring back many of the lecturers and teaching assistants who have been notified they might not be rehired, he said.
The chancellor said the new faculty 45 positions will be tied to a new strategic hiring process linking future hiring with areas of excellence and need, and to coordinate the faculty positions with planning by the research, facilities and development units.
With the legislative budget process just beginning and uncertainty about the eocnomy continuing, Holub said the budget parameters given to the vice chancellors last week are intended to guide planning by deans, directors and department heads for the coming academic year.
“[T]his budget plan provides that direction to allow managers on campus to make critical decisions now,” said Holub. “In the next few weeks, we will be working with all academic and administrative areas to finalize this budget in advance of the July 1 start and to make any adjustments as necessary based on economic or political changes.”
Depending on the amount of federal stimulus funding received by the campus, said Holub, a portion of the $1,500 fee increase will be rebated to students. The amount of the rebate will be determined in consultation with the President’s Office, the other campuses and the Board of Trustees, he said.