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Measures Taken to Address Shortfall

Spectrum Volume 17 Issue 31 - May 4, 1995

(Editor's note: The following is a letter to the faculty and staff from President Paul Torgersen.)

Dr. Meszaros and Mr. Ridenour have continued to work with the vice presidents and deans, and with the University Advisory Council on Strategic Budgeting and Planning, on ways to address the shortfall in revenue for 1995-96. As you know we are faced with the need to adjust our budget by $12.2 million as a result of continued shortfalls in out-of-state student enrollment, reduction in state dollars, and unfunded fixed costs and mandates related to environmental, and health and safety issues.

In order to cope with a projected budget shortfall, the vice presidents, deans, and the Advisory Council have decided to make permanent the current year's 3-percent reversion from all operating units, and an additional 2-percent reduction is being applied to all units for 1995-96. Should revenues be higher than currently expected, the university will be in a position to reallocate funds on a selected basis.

This 5-percent reduction will cover $9.3 million of the $12.2-million shortfall. Dr. Meszaros and Mr. Ridenour will develop a plan to cover centrally the remaining $2.9 million from savings in fringe benefits that occur as a result of positions being held vacant, and from adjustments in equipment purchases and various revenue accounts. While the 5-percent reduction is being applied across the board at the vice president and dean levels, the vice presidents and deans are free to make differential adjustments as appropriate. Every effort will be made to avoid layoffs and there will be no furloughs.

We realize that this university has lost some $35 million in state funding for program support since 1989 and that we simply cannot continue to operate as we did before these reductions. Therefore, it is even more critical that we commit ourselves to the goals established in our restructuring plan and look to ways of redirecting resources within the university, while also committing ourselves to seeking greater state support and developing new revenue sources for the university.

I am asking the University Advisory Council on Strategic Budgeting and Planning to commit itself to the discussion and development of a set of principles that will guide the university through a process of selective and differential resource allocations related to our restructuring efforts.

These have not been easy years for any of us. I call on everyone to commit ourselves to working through this critical budget situation and to working to protect the strengths of this university.


Paul E. Torgersen