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Published: April 2, 2018 Author: Staff reports

This communication provides a budget planning update to the University community as we reach the end of Fiscal Year (FY) 2018.

Currently, colleges and administrative units are continuing the process to refine budgets for next fiscal year to close the $15.8 million base budget gap while positioning the colleges and university more strategically.

“We have made a good deal of progress in the first year of our efforts to be more strategic as we stabilize the budget,” said President M. Duane Nellis. “Through this process, updated revenue and spending projections from the colleges and administrative units have allowed us to get a better understanding of where we are as an institution, and how to position the university more effectively for the future.”

Administrative units continue to implement cuts and reallocations to reduce actual spending by 7 percent over three years while striving to continue to provide academic support services for students, faculty, staff, information technology and compliance needs.

Based on the continually evolving understanding of revenues and expenses, colleges have updated their growth and spending plans for FY19.

“Units have been encouraged to leverage a combination of increased revenues, such as growth in programs, credit hours and enrollment, as well as cutting expenses to help close the existing budget gap,” said Interim Executive Vice President and Provost Elizabeth Sayrs.

To determine how to close the budget gap, the Provost and Deans have worked collectively to consider factors including but not limited to the academic strategy, mission, and priorities of the colleges and university, enrollment and staffing trends, and the potential for additional revenue. During the past two weeks, college Deans and Chief Financial Administrative Officers have been meeting with the Provost's office to discuss the aforementioned factors, as well as gap-closing targets and their potential impacts.

“The goal is to ensure the university protects the academic core through strategic use of college budgets while remaining proportional to changes in administrative budgets,” said President Nellis. 

Sayrs adds, “Colleges have been asked to adjust their budgets by increasing revenue or decreasing spending. The total adjustment target for colleges is set at $8.3 million for FY19. These adjustments will be implemented with the same expected timeframe and proportionality that has been set for administrative reductions.”

This target for budget change varies among colleges in recognition of growth in some areas and reduced enrollments in others. Targets for colleges range from 0 to 5 percent, but within colleges will also be distributed in ways that are strategic in advancing the colleges and university’s priorities.

In order to minimize the impact on staff and faculty, colleges are using attrition, reserves, and carry-forward in strategic ways. The goal of these budget planning efforts is to move the university in strategic directions while closing the University’s budget gap and providing the institution with a strong, stable, and sustainable financial future.

“Your contributions, input, and participation in this process have been invaluable as we work through this important strategic planning effort,” said Nellis. “We recognize the impact of these decisions, but we also know that our collective effort to ensuring a sustainable financial future is the best interest of our university and our region. Our goal and focus are on a sustainable budget that will provide us with the ability to expand our investments in strategic areas, advance our university, and benefit our students, faculty and staff for generations to come.”

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