Supplemental Budget Reduction Report Now Available on the Web

Colleagues:

When the Governor signs the budget bill passed this morning by both houses of the legislature, we will have the numbers we need to form our 2010-11 budget.

As the legislative process unfolded, we have all been kept informed by a chart that shows consequences for Western at various stages of the budget process. That chart now includes the information from early this morning and is available on the Web.

In December and January, the proposed additional base budget cut to Western was 6.4% or $3,800,000. We ended at 5.2% or just over $3,000,000. As painful as this cut will be, any better outcome was highly unlikely. And, given the state`s situation, much worse outcomes could have occurred. And, there are other more positive outcomes:

The State Need Grant, funded at $0 back in the bleak budget days of December and January, is now funded. This program is critical for supporting access for students from lower income families.

State support for the work study program had been zeroed out back in those same dark days. This would have been a double whammy: eliminating a support program valuable to our students and creating an additional budget cut for those departments that use work study students. Restoration of these funds appeared to be a touch-and-go matter as so many of us walked the corridors of the Capitol. But, the funds have been largely restored.

I know there is no solace to be found in budget cuts. But, because so many worked so diligently and so carefully together, we were able to show the legislature the importance of baccalaureate education in a way that we never have before, and we were able to prevent much deeper cuts. Western was an acknowledged leader in those efforts. There are far too many to name – faculty, staff, students, alumni, trustees – but they all have our most sincere thanks. They, and we, do not stop there, though. Already, we are debriefing, figuring out lessons learned, and looking to do better in the 2011 legislative session.

Planning units have been working for months to prepare possible reductions. The reduction proposals are now available for you to consider on the Web.

At this point, there are only budget possibilities. Not all the possible steps to cut budgets or increase revenues will happen. Refer to the web pages to understand this better. Still, it is consequences for our colleagues that is first on our minds.

What remain possibilities at this point could affect 39 positions. Of these, 10 that are currently occupied would either be eliminated or have the FTE reduced. An additional 7 would be continued but funding sources would be changed. The remainder, 22, are currently vacant or will become so through retirement. Most whose positions might be affected have been advised today; several who could not be reached today will be contacted by noon tomorrow. HR has prepared to provide support and assistance. And, again, these are possibilities and not decisions.

Most of our budget (80%) is in compensation so budget cuts of any magnitude affect positions, and our total 2010-11 cut is huge: about $12,500,000 taken out of the base budget. That there are these possible additional consequences for colleagues troubles us all; that these are the possible personnel consequences in a university of 2,200 colleagues is evidence of the efforts so many made to reduce impacts upon occupied positions.

Please do plan to spend some time absorbing the report now up on the web. Every effort has been made to provide all the numbers. But, more than that, people have worked very hard to provide you – a quite diverse group – with the explanations and logic that lead to those numbers. I am particularly grateful to Paula Gilman and her colleagues in the Office of University Planning and Budgeting for their many late nights and weekends bringing together the efforts of all that additional work done within 17 planning units.

Please also note, as you consult those pages, that questions will abound. They are welcome. In the web report, you will find the provisions that have been made for your questions to be asked. And, to be answered.

Sincerely,

Bruce

Page Updated 11.27.2013