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Hoppe announces budget developments

February 12, 2003

The lead article in yesterday's edition of "InnerAction" noted that an update on budget deliberations will be provided later this week.

Here, from Dr. Sherry Hoppe, is that update:

The vice presidents and I met Monday for several hours, and I am pleased to inform the University community that at this point it appears likely we will be able to cover the maximum impoundment (5 percent) anticipated in the current fiscal year without cutting departmental budgets.
February 12, 2003

The lead article in yesterday's edition of "InnerAction" noted that an update on budget deliberations will be provided later this week.

Here, from Dr. Sherry Hoppe, is that update:

The vice presidents and I met Monday for several hours, and I am pleased to inform the University community that at this point it appears likely we will be able to cover the maximum impoundment (5 percent) anticipated in the current fiscal year without cutting departmental budgets.

This is primarily due to very conservative fiscal management for enrollment growth, tuition and vacant positions. Consequently, the following decisions have been made: 1) the freeze on travel is lifted for the remainder of the fiscal year, with the understanding that budget managers are expected to be judicious in incurring or approving expenses. 2) The freeze on expenditures from operating budgets is lifted for the remainder of the fiscal year, again assuming judicious oversight.

It is critical that no one overspend his/her budget, as we will be closing the year with virtually no flexibility. Any account overspent will have an equal amount deducted from its base budget for 2003-2004.

A word of caution: The only major unknown is the impending impact of the Fort Campbell deployment. If we are not required to reimburse the Army for TAs (Training Assistance grants) for spring and, thus, refund only dollars paid individually by soldiers, the impact will be minimal.

If we must refund TAs, the impact would be more than $250,000.

In addition, we must prepare for a reduction in anticipated revenue for military enrollments in Spring II of this fiscal year as well as in upcoming terms in 2003-2004. The total impact for Spring II could be up to $200,000 and, for 2003-2004, almost a million dollars. This will compound our budget problems and may require revisions in the actions discussed above and below.

Although final budget cuts will not be made for weeks, the following actions are under consideration for 2003-2004:

1) Continue post-retirement approvals only for two years/20 percent as implemented earlier this month.

2) Continue the freeze on 13 new faculty positions. Freeze additional ones only if absolutely necessary.

3) Fill positions as they become vacant from resignations or retirement only on a case-by-case basis. Most will remain unfilled.

4) Convert 15-25 staff positions from 12 months to 9 or 10 months.

5) Eliminate Center of Excellence for Field Biology overmatch.

6) Reduce travel expenditures.

7) Reduce athletics.

8) Eliminate selected programs and services in the summer.

9) Reduce library hours in the summer.

10) Eliminate or reduce a) non-PC 191 staff scholarships, b) international scholarships, c) ROTC housing scholarships.

11) Eliminate all faculty reassigned time and require VP approval of any in 2003-2004.

12) Reduce R&R (Replacement and Renewal) transfers.

13) Ask faculty to voluntarily teach one extra course for 2003-2004 and ask qualified administrative/professional staff to teach one class.

14) Eliminate filled positions only if absolutely necessary.

The above list is not all-inclusive and may be expanded as we continue to work on reducing $2.8M from our 2003-2004 budget.

In addition to the $2.8M base budget reduction, we also will need to cover mandatory items such as the cost of the January 3 percent salary increase for six months and a 25 percent increase in group insurance costs for next year.

Mandatory items will increase the severity of our final budget cuts. Our goal is to minimize the impact on students, with our highest priorities being instruction and retention. We will endeavor not to eliminate filled positions, but this likely will require the above-noted change from 12-month to 9-10 months contracts for some employees. This is regrettable, as it will create financial hardship on some, but it may be necessary to avoid the total loss of jobs.

I will provide further updates as more information becomes available. I also will convene a University-wide meeting at some point in the process to present our total financial picture.

To end on a bright note: If the impoundment is less than 5 percent for the current year, we will release dollars for equipment later this spring.