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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Update on Campus Budget & FY18 Allocation

Dear colleagues,

I hope your school year is off to a successful start. Like me, I'm sure your schedule has suddenly become very full. There is no shortage of activity around campus and taking a minute to slow down and enjoy it always helps remind me how important our work is. 

Last week, the Vice Chancellors and I met with the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee and my Senior Leadership Council to discuss our budget allocation and next steps. At the end of August, I received UMD's final budget allocation letter from President Kaler for the current 2017-18 fiscal year. With that information, I am providing an update on our budget projections.

Our campus made significant progress in addressing our budget deficit last year. We identified $2.3 million in recurring reductions that we are implementing this fiscal year. At the time, those budget reductions along with some one-time budget actions, would have brought our projected fiscal year 2017-18 (FY18) annual structural imbalance (recurring budget deficit) down to $1.3 million. From there, we looked at changes to the budget based on tuition, our budget request, state funding, U of M allocation, and expenses. 

This current fiscal year, our O&M (state) allocation has increased by almost $2 million which includes $878,000 in one-time funds for repairs and renovations. The recurring amount of $1.1 million will help fund two additional mental health counselors to provide critical support for our students. It will help fund a scholarship match and Federal Perkins Loan financial aid program. This funding will also provide nearly half a million dollars to address a portion of our structural imbalance and other increased costs. In addition, our positive enrollment growth and one percent tuition increase has resulted in nearly $1.7 million in additional resources. 

Another positive outcome of our budget allocation is we will be able to fund the Sports and Health Center renovation and enhancements. This funding comes through a mix of state-allocated HEAPR funding, one-time U of M funds, private gifts, and UMD. That project will go to bid this fall with work scheduled to begin during spring break in March. 

However, instead of ending FY18 with a $1.3 million structural deficit, the actual year-end deficit will be closer to $3.2 million. The reasons for this higher than anticipated deficit are FY18 merit pay, increased fringe benefit costs, growth in the cost pool, and lower than anticipated state allocation. Our projected structural imbalance at the end of fiscal year 2016-17 was $4 million, and we are still making progress by reducing that recurring deficit to $3.2 million. However, increased costs have kept us from making as much progress on the deficit as we anticipated. You can read the complete FY18 UMD budget allocation letter. 

Adding this additional $3.2 million annual shortfall to the FY18 sequestered deficit (cash balance deficit) means that the projected sequestered deficit will be almost $11 million by June 30, 2018

This leaves us in a difficult situation and I'm sure that it is as frustrating for you, as it is for me, to not see more progress being made on reducing our deficit. The U of M System did recognize the reductions we made, and we will continue to work with President Kaler and his team at resolving the structural imbalance and sequestered deficit. We will continue to be advocates for UMD, ask tough questions, drive innovative solutions, and work to ensure as minimal negative impact on our students as possible.  

The next step in the process is for Vice Chancellor Steve Keto to model an updated budget resolution plan. Then we will provide more information on our timeline to balance our deficit, targeted reduction amounts, and begin work at identifying savings to be implemented in fiscal year 2019. 

Thank you for your commitment to UMD. Please feel free to contact me or any of the Vice Chancellors if you have questions. 

Sincerely, 

Lendley Black
Chancellor

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Statement from Chancellor Black re: DACA Decision

Dear Students, Faculty & Staff:

You should have received the message "The DACA decision and the University's stance" from University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler. I want to reiterate what President Kaler has said and express my disappointment in the Trump administration's decision to rescind the Deferred Access for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA program.

I have joined other Chancellors and Presidents across the country in expressing the importance of this program, including having signed on to the American Council on Education's letter of support.

I believe in the DACA program and I believe that these students, the Dreamers, bring tremendous value to our universities and communities. I am concerned for the individuals currently in the program and want to reiterate that UMD will do everything we can within the law to continue to provide support and an education to these students.

Students seeking support or more information should contact the Office of Diversity and Inclusion or Susana Pelayo-Woodward at swoodwar@d.umn.edu.

Sincerely,


Lendley Black
Chancellor

Friday, September 1, 2017

Start of the Fall Semester Update

Dear UMD Parents and Family Members

By now your UMD Bulldog has arrived on campus, participated in Bulldog Welcome Week, and is settling into their first week of classes. We hope that your move-in experience on campus was a great one! Every year I'm appreciative of how well campus activities for move-in are organized, and I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to interact with new students and their families. I also appreciate the many UMD returning students who help new students unload their vehicles, move their valuable possessions into their new UMD living spaces, and welcome new students with positive signs and cheers on the streets around campus.


I also want to acknowledge an aspect of move-in Tuesday that was problematic. Off campus, a much fewer number of UMD students created a host of disturbances and problems in the surrounding neighborhoods. You may have driven by some of the parties and observed sexist and offensive signs. I want you to know that those behaviors are unacceptable to me and I recognize that the partying and signs are completely inconsistent with a positive, inclusive campus.


The University of Minnesota Board of Regents Student Conduct Code limits our ability to respond to off-campus behavior. Our response is limited to conduct that is against the law, and every student that was ticketed or arrested by the police on Tuesday will also be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution.

Given the limitations for addressing off-campus behavior, we've tried a number of strategies to encourage students to make different choices. I pledge to you that we're going to explore new ways of working with our students to help them learn about their responsibilities as members of the Duluth community. As you have the opportunity, I encourage you to talk with your student about this topic. As I wrote to you in my email this summer, we know that parents are great partners in our students' UMD journey.

Since I last wrote, Student Life has launched a Parents and Family webpage as part of their redesigned website. I hope you'll find it useful!

Best wishes to your student as they start their academic career at UMD, and also to you as you begin your journey as a Bulldog parent or family member!

Sincerely
Lendley C. BlackChancellor

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Welcome to the 2017-2018 Academic Year! (Students)

Dear Students,

The first week of class is here! If you are new to UMD, we are so happy you have joined us. Welcome. If you are a returning student, it is great to have you back. Take a minute to see what some of our faculty and staff told Champ about what it is like at UMD.
 
This year, we are estimating about a five percent increase in new freshman with around 2,250 new incoming students. Graduate program enrollment is also experiencing positive growth. While enrollment numbers are not final until a couple weeks into the semester, I am excited about this positive growth.

In my greeting to faculty and staff last week, I stressed that one of my main priorities this year is campus climate. It is up to each one of us to take personal accountability for improving campus climate. I'm proud of the progress we have made, but we must do more. The results of our campus climate survey and subsequent conversations guide us to focus on three primary areas:
  1. Make our campus more diverse
  2. Make our campus more inclusive
  3. Decrease and ideally eliminate bullying at UMD
 
I also spoke about what's been weighing on my mind and heart lately, particularly with the recent events in Charlottesville, VA. We need to make clear that UMD stands firm against white supremacy, bigotry, and violence. We denounce the extremist and hate-filled messages, flags, and other symbols that are used by neo-Nazism, white supremacists, and other similar groups to promote hate, oppression, and violence. There is no room for racism, sexism, homophobia, Jewish persecution, xenophobia, and other forms of hate at UMD, in Duluth, or in our nation.
 
I want to thank all of the tremendous students who gave their time, talent and endless energy last week welcoming our new students during move-in and Bulldog Welcome Week activities. All over our campus I saw students modeling UMD's core values of learning, discovery, engagement, inclusiveness, sustainability, integrity, and excellence. It is truly inspiring, and your excitement, passion, and dedication make us all proud to be part of UMD.
 
However, off campus we continue to have issues as a small number of UMD students created a host of disturbances and problems in the surrounding neighborhoods on move-in day. We do not support the out of control partying that occurred off campus or the signs that are sexually explicit and make others feel uncomfortable. We sympathize with the students' neighbors and the new students and their families who experienced students shouting at them and waving inappropriate signs. Most of all, we're concerned about the safety risks to students and anyone driving on roads adjacent to campus.
 
It is my hope that you, students, will drive change to this negative aspect of our student culture. I want to support you in that effort, and I have asked Vice Chancellor for Student Life and Dean of Students Lisa Erwin to engage the entire campus community in this discussion. I want our community, your parents, our neighbors, and our students to always be proud of UMD.

As a student, it is important for you to be an active member of our campus community. Please participate in campus events, discussions, and take advantage of our great facilities and recreational activities. Campus leadership also wants to hear from students. The best way to do that is to engage and provide feedback to the UMD Student Association, which serves as the official voice of the student body.

Thank you and have a great start to your semester!

Sincerely,


Lendley C. Black
Chancellor

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Welcome to the 2017-2018 Academic Year

Dear colleagues,

This week is filled with action, and I sincerely thank everyone involved in welcoming students. The mix of expressions on the faces of our new students never gets old for me. The way that many campus units come together to make this week special for our students is tremendous!

This year, we are estimating about a five percent increase in new freshman with around 2,250 new incoming students. Graduate program enrollment is also experiencing positive growth. While enrollment numbers are not final until a couple weeks into the semester, it is not too late to recognize our admissions staff and everyone else on campus who has helped drive the increase. Thank you for all your hard work.

Thanks as well to those who were able to make the Monday morning breakfast. We found our way to the fieldhouse and watched a video of Champ interviewing some of our colleagues.
 
I also stressed that one of my main priorities this year is campus climate. It is up to each one of us to take personal accountability for improving campus climate. I'm proud of the progress we have made, but we must do more. The results of our campus climate survey and subsequent conversations guide us to focus on three primary areas:
  1. Make our campus more diverse
  2. Make our campus more inclusive
  3. Decrease and ideally eliminate bullying at UMD
The first step is for leadership at all levels to make clear that behaviors that work against our core values and prevent achievement of our goals of inclusiveness are NOT acceptable here. To be successful in our campus climate work, it's up to all of us to act on a daily basis in ways that will help UMD be more diverse, more inclusive, and more welcoming.
 
On Monday, I also spoke about what's been weighing on my mind and heart lately, particularly with the recent events in Charlottesville, VA. We need to make clear that UMD stands firm against white supremacy, bigotry, and violence.  We denounce the extremist and hate-filled messages, flags, and other symbols that are used by neo-Nazism, white supremacists, and other similar groups to promote hate, oppression, and violence. There is no room for racism, sexism, homophobia, Jewish persecution, xenophobia, and other forms of hate at UMD, in Duluth, or in our nation. 

Budget will continue to be a main priority this year. We should receive our 2018 budget allocation letter from President Kaler within a week, which will reflect UMD's funding and required expenses for this fiscal year. As with previous years, we will discuss this letter with the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee and make it available to the campus as a whole.

Last year we made great progress refreshing our strategic plan by completing a SWOT analysis, and getting input through various public forums and discussions with administrative and governance committees to determine the initiatives and metrics of the plan. This refreshment of the UMD Strategic Plan is an opportunity for us to further clarify who we are, how we promote our distinctiveness, and where we should put our focus over the next few years.

There may be some minor tweaks to the language of one or more goals, though the feedback received suggests that the UMD community remains supportive of the existing goals. We anticipate the strategic plan updates should be completed by the end of the fall 2017 semester.

Based on the work of the Shared Governance Task Force, UMD now has a more formalized governance structure including an office, website, and formalized guidelines for participation. The changes are intended to encourage constituent groups to come together to share perspectives about how the institution should be governed and supported. Engagement, investment, and collaboration are at the core of the success of the shared governance structure. Please email umdgov@d.umn.edu if you have any questions.
 
Thanks for reading, and let's work together to make it a great year.

Sincerely,

Lendley C. Black

Chancellor 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Message from Chancellor Black & Student Assoc President Mike Kenyanya

Good afternoon,

We want to sincerely thank everyone involved in making Bulldog Welcome Week memorable and successful. It takes a lot of coordination and your passion for UMD shines bright.  Thank you. 
  
There are a lot of ways in which our new students can engage and meet new friends. Our main priority is ensuring a safe environment for all students and being respectful of one another, including our community neighbors. 
 
We are disheartened by the actions of some of our students. It is important to note that while we support and respect the right to free speech, we do not condone the behaviors of those who choose to display vulgar signs to our incoming freshman and their families. This kind of behavior does not represent our values or the kind of institution we are. It is not ok to encourage illegal activity and sexual misconduct or to make the neighborhoods surrounding UMD unsafe and unwelcoming. This kind of behavior is not welcome at UMD.
  
Our UMD Strategic Plan Goal 2 states: "Create a positive and inclusive campus climate for all by advancing equity, diversity, and social justice." In keeping with Goal 2, we ask our students, faculty, and staff to be mindful of their actions at all times. Act with respect and civility and be considerate of your neighbors. We ask all of you to help ensure that UMD continues to provide a safe and healthy environment that extends into our Duluth community.  
 
Sincerely,


Lendley Black, Chancellor
Mike Kenyanya, Student Association President

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Chancellor's Welcome for All Staff and Faculty 2017

Chancellor's Welcome for All Staff and Faculty 2017

When:    Monday, August 21, 2017

Time:      8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

Where:   Ward Wells Field House (follow the ramp down to the field house on the side where the tennis courts are located)

Chancellor Black invites you to join him in kicking off a new fall semester. A continental breakfast will be served.

We will be collecting nonperishable food for Champ's Cupboard, the UMD Food Shelf located in 245 Kirby Plaza. Items specifically needed are, all unused/unopened:
  • Canned Chicken/tuna
  • Boxed noodles, pasta, etc
  • Pasta sauce
  • Boxed meals and dinner sides
  • Canned meals: spaghetti's, ravioli, etc
  • Canned Fruit and Veggies
  • Peanut Butter, Jelly, Condiments
  • Lighter meals/snacks, Granola bars, etc
  • Miscellaneous toiletries, such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo
  • Diapers and laundry detergent


For information contact: 218.726.7106 or chan@d.umn.edu