To: Ad Hoc Staff Budget Advisory Group and the Elected Faculty Council
As the College approaches the difficult task of reducing state budgets, I ask your participation in the analysis and planning that will ultimately guide our budget decisions, in both the near and long-term. A process that is transparent and inclusive of both faculty and staff is consistent with our core values and will serve us well in the challenging days ahead.
Specifically, I am asking you to accomplish two major tasks. The first of these is to develop and refine a set of guidelines that will help identify College-level strategies for budget reductions that are likely to occur this year. These guidelines, which must take into account our essential core functions along with our mission and vision, will also help provide a framework for an ongoing assessment of essential functions within the College. These guidelines will be discussed throughout the College before being formally adopted as part of our ongoing planning, budgeting, and decision process.
The second task is to recommend options for cutting the aggregate College state budget. An example would be determining the most efficient balance in numbers of positions to be cut or percentage cuts to be applied to budget categories (e.g., temporary faculty, graduate student assistants, staff, operations) in response to legislative action this year. I also seek your advice regarding potential differential cuts in College units with state budgets. I ask that you develop general parameters for implementing any cuts that we may have to make, using the guidelines you have developed. Rather than make recommendations about specific unit service cuts, I ask that you provide guidance on how to prioritize cuts as well as short- and long-term strategies for addressing their implications. Although the magnitude of our budget reduction is unknown at this time, please plan on examining budget cuts of 5% - 15%, exclusive of the return to the central administration of two unfilled faculty positions.
Both groups should meet regularly in order to insure the timely and deliberate evaluation of these important issues. I also ask that both groups meet periodically with the divisional chairs so that they can keep their faculty, staff, and students informed of your thinking and progress. All-College meetings will be scheduled so that everyone has the opportunity to express views and offer suggestions about types and magnitudes of cuts in each budget category.
Procedurally you may choose to meet as two separate groups or as one large group. Or, you may choose to meet together only on special occasions. However, at the end of your deliberations, I request that each group provide me with their own advice and recommendations.
Our first meetings will be scheduled for the week of November 25 or December 2. Scheduling subsequent meetings will be the responsibility of each group. I, as well as Karen Russell, will be happy to attend your meetings whenever asked. Please send me your written recommendations by February 1, 2003.
I appreciate your willingness to take on these challenging tasks. Your efforts are crucial to the College's ability to minimize the damage of these cuts and to establish procedural guidelines for budget decisions ensuring our long-term ability to fulfill our core mission. Your advice will be discussed throughout the College in order to gain the widest possible feedback.
B. Bruce Bare, Dean
cc: CFR Faculty and Staff