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Thursday, Oct 23, 2014

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Pam Benoit

Stephen Golding

Stephen Golding

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Benoit and Golding address budget concerns

In a letter to the campus community executive staff members share knowns and unknowns


Executive Vice President and Provost Pam Benoit and Vice President for Finance and Administration Stephen Golding addressed the OHIO community Monday about the University's budget.

Dear Ohio University Students, Faculty, and Staff:

Before fall quarter ends, we want to update you on university budget planning. We recognize that this message is lengthy. Given the complexity of the subject brevity is difficult, but our main goal is to let you know that an initial budget-planning scenario has been developed and that the original timeline for the budget has been changed. Planning unit budget reduction targets will not be provided until January.  

As is always the case at this point in the state’s biennial budget planning process, our planning remains subject to a significant number of uncertainties. Chief among those is how the state’s budget for higher education will be structured in the new biennium, including what federal support will be available for higher education in Ohio. 

As we enter the period when our state’s leaders will negotiate details of the state operating budget for fiscal years 2012 and 2013, we must continue to communicate and demonstrate the many ways public universities offer excellent educational experiences that allow us to develop a competitive workforce, advance innovation, and grow Ohio’s economy.

While these discussions with our state leaders progress, it will be important for us to continue our multi-year University budget planning on all our campuses using information currently at our disposal. We will begin developing budget scenarios based on what we know about some of the key state and federal variables.

We know that every one percent of state subsidy to Ohio University’s Athens campus equals $1.05 million. We know that the amount of the lapsed 2010-2011 State Share of Instruction (SSI) payment scheduled to be issued to Ohio University in July is $7.04 million. We know that Ohio University’s portion of the state’s higher education budget currently supported by federal stimulus funding is $11.35 million. Given these facts, we can generate planning scenarios that project what changes to state or federal support or the timing of that support would mean to Ohio University.

Following discussions with the University’s Budget Planning Council (BPC) about what is currently known, we have recommended to President Roderick J. McDavis that we focus our budget planning efforts on understanding the impact of a 10 percent reduction to the University’s base budget. He has agreed that for the time being we should orient our budget work around this scenario while carefully monitoring discussions at the state and federal level that would require the development of alternative scenarios.

The original budget planning outline issued in May 2010 indicated that by the end of November we would be issuing planning unit budget reduction targets. Our goal now is to meet with planning unit heads over the course of Winter Intersession to refine the information that units provided during the summer. We will not be providing planning units with budget reduction targets until January. A revised budget timeline along with a set of principles that will guide our work will be posted on the Executive Vice President and Provost's website by Friday.

One of the principles that we will adhere to is transparency.  We will do our best to keep you informed on a regular basis, as we continue to receive information.

Sincerely,

Pam Benoit
Executive Vice President and Provost

Stephen Golding
Vice President for Finance and Administration