To All Members of the College Faculty and Staff,
The College has not yet received its final budget for the next FY starting July 1, 2002. Nevertheless, we have evaluated many budget cut scenarios over the past few months and arrived at a plan for absorbing whatever reduction we incur in our permanent state budgets. The Elected Faculty Council was fully involved in reviewing and commenting on the proposals as were the Chairs, Associate Dean and Administrator.
As of today, it is our understanding that we will be asked to absorb a 2% budget cut as of July 1, 2002. While this is less than originally discussed, it is large enough to be painful. A reduction in services we have become accustomed to receiving will be noticed as this cut takes effect. The central College budget as well as the Centers with permanent state budgets (Pack Forest, CSS, ONRC, WPA and CUH) will each absorb a 2% across the board budget reduction.
Within the central College budget, we decided to take the required reduction in specific functional areas of staff support as well as operations. In some cases this, unfortunately and unavoidably, affects existing employees by reducing the effective FTE of a position. In other cases, open positions were used. All employees so affected by these central College decisions have been verbally notified. They have also been told that our decisions can not be finalized until we receive our permanent budget for the next FY. The College is committed to using temporary sources of funding for one year in order to keep disruptions due to reductions in the central College budget to a minimum. Thus, no current employee whose budgeted position will be reduced by budget cuts effective July 1, 2002 will see that cut until July 1, 2003.
As stated above, reductions in Centers with state budgets will also be at the 2% level. Each Center will make its own determination concerning how it wishes to take its required budget cut and how it wishes to implement it.
I wish to provide some insight into the thinking that went into our budget deliberations this year. Discussions with others convinced me that it would only hurt the College, in pursuing its goals, to cut faculty positions at this time. Thus, all of our central College budget cuts are being taken in staff positions and operating funds. It is probable that there will be further cuts in the coming biennium and further re-engineering of essential support services to meet new and emerging needs will be carefully considered. Depending on the size of future cuts, it may not be possible to take all of them in staff positions and operating funds, but the College will rise and fall on its faculty, so it is my intention to continue to seek economies in support services before considering cuts in faculty positions.
As I have stated before, we must give serious consideration to decreasing our reliance on our state budget. It is of paramount importance to retain as many faculty positions as possible as it is through these positions that our College can increase its research and self-sustaining budgets. In the long term, a healthy increase in non-state budget funds will be very beneficial to classified and professional staff in our College. Given present forecasts for the next biennium, I am afraid that further reductions to eliminate unnecessary or outdated services, while adding new ones, may be necessary.
I intend to keep all members of the College fully engaged in these discussions as we move forward. As soon as we receive more definite information on our budget I will let you all know.
B. Bruce Bare, Dean