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Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring Budget Message

 Dear Campus Community,
Since our Town Hall meeting in January, we have presented our budget request (budget compact) to the University of Minnesota system, and there has been much planning and collaboration in the development of our budget for fiscal year 2016. We appreciate your ideas and participation, which had a direct impact on the process.
The plan that is described below allows us to meet our FY16 budget resolution goals without cutting any academic programs and does not include any across the board cuts. Instead, we’re being very strategic and ensuring that our core academic mission drives the decisions. In fact, cuts to the colleges and schools are much less than we anticipated. You may remember that the deans submitted a 3% reduction plan. Instead of 3%, the collegiate units will only see a 0.9% reduction at this time. The deans and department heads are now developing a specific reduction plan.
Although we don't intend to eliminate any academic programs, the tough fiscal situation will impact our campus. The reverberations will be felt through a reduction in term faculty, support of our lab services, some student services, and some part-time staff positions. Every single college and school at UMD is taking a cut.
This plan also focuses on reducing open staff and faculty positions. While there are still uncertainties and this may change, please know that I’m hopeful that we can utilize recently opened positions to make reductions. I’ll know more when we receive our final budget allocation from the system leadership the end of May.
In the meantime, here’s where we plan to reduce expenses in the major areas of our campus:
Chancellor’s Unit (which includes Athletics)
·         An open position was eliminated and other positions were realigned.
Total reduction in the Chancellor’s Unit: $233,334, 3%
Finance and Operations
·         Human Resources and Equal Opportunity implemented a shared services model in FY14, reduced services, and switched oversight to other funds.
·         Some open positions in Facilities Management will not be filled and management positions may be realigned.
·         During FY15, Business Services adopted a shared services model, which allowed for the elimination of an open position.
Total reduction in Finance and Operations: $748,521, 3.3%
Student Life
·         The operational budgets in two Student Life units are being reduced.
·         Enrollment marketing initiatives will be paid, in part, with auxiliary funds.
·         Other O&M expenses will be absorbed by fee-funded units.
·         Shifting funding of one Student Life unit to collegiate unit fees, which better aligns with the Twin Cities campus funding model.
Total reduction in Student Life: $586,310, 23%
Academic Affairs
Reductions in the Academic Affairs units (non-collegiate):
·         Reduction of financial support for honors courses, students in transition activities, registrar and graduate education.
·         Reduction in support of one-stop and recruitment.
·         Reduction in library e-resources.
·         Reduction in support for one-time initiatives/requests.
·         Reduction in staffing for ITSS, assessment, instructional development (will develop new model with faculty input), writing center, tutoring center, NRRI.
·         Reduced travel and professional development.
·         Reduced student scholarships for study abroad.
Reductions in collegiate units:
·         Reductions in instructional funds, staffing, and instructional lab resources.
Total reduction in Academic Affairs:
Non-collegiate units - $624,300, 2%
Collegiate units - $526,000, 0.9%
While nothing will be definitive until we receive our budget allocation from the system leadership, I want to make sure that you’re updated on the process as we continue solving our financial challenges.
I sincerely appreciate your participation and your help in positioning UMD for the new realities in higher education.
Lendley C. Black