From staff reports
While the ailing economy will present numerous challenges for Ohio University, university officials pledged Monday that the university's "core academic mission of teaching, learning, research, and creative activity" will guide upcoming budget decisions.
In a memo to faculty, staff and students, the executive staff and deans encouraged members of the university community to monitor their e-mail over the winter intersession, which begins Nov. 22, for budget updates.
"The effects of (the) global financial crisis are now reaching Ohio University," the memo stated. "It is important that all of us understand some of the financial issues our university community must confront."
The memo notes three areas of immediate concern:
- Investment income budgeted as a revenue source for this fiscal year could be down $5 million to $8 million as a result of the falling stock market.
- It is unlikely that higher education would escape a third round of state budget cuts, should more be necessary this fiscal year. Two earlier budget adjustments -- totaling $1.27 billion in January and September -- largely spared higher education.
- State funding support and tuition revenue are highly fluid, subject to economic forces and decisions that our state's leaders still must make. The uncertainties driving these factors present an exceptional challenge to fiscal planning work.
The memo noted the key groups working on the budget: the University Budget Planning and Analysis Office, associate provost for academic budgeting, the Budget Planning Council (BPC) and academic deans and executive staff. It encouraged recipients to share their ideas and suggestions with their BPC representatives, their deans or executive staff members.
These financial difficulties are not unique to Ohio University, the memo stated, noting that colleges and universities across the country are taking steps to address similar hardships.
"In spite of the difficult days ahead, Ohio University will continue to provide a high quality of education for its students. We are a community of scholars, scientists, artists and humanitarians whose creativity and knowledge will help us do more than just weather these storms," the memo said. "The pragmatism and passion that characterizes Ohio University will ensure this institution emerges stronger."