FY 10-11 Budget and Employee Impacts

March 24, 2010


To: All Faculty and Staff

From: President Jon Whitmore

As we approach the end of the fiscal year, I want to update you on where we are today with the budget and what our immediate future looks like.

In fiscal year 2010-2011, we expect to face the same difficult circumstances that have proven so challenging over the last year. As we have been discussing throughout the year, we had to close a $44 million budget gap in FY 2009-2010. By making budget reductions across all areas of the university, including eliminating many vacant positions, reducing operating budgets, implementing employee furloughs, and raising student fees, we have largely (although not entirely) avoided layoffs of employees up to this point.

This year, we absorbed $19 million of our budget reduction through furloughs. However, we have recognized from the beginning that employees on furlough would not be a permanent solution to our situation. The unpleasant fact is that we must adjust our operations permanently, reducing both our student body and our staffing to fit our shrinking resources.

As I first mentioned in my Fall 2009 Address, layoffs are a part of our planning for next fiscal year. And while the overall number of layoffs is expected to be limited, we all will most certainly feel the impact. On a practical level, having fewer employees to share the campus workload will present real challenges. Emotionally, having to see colleagues depart will be difficult for each and every one of us. Logistically, the impacts of layoffs will require flexibility, cooperation, and patience, as staff resources are redistributed according to the provisions of the respective union contracts. And most important, of course, is the difficulty ahead for individuals who will be directly impacted by the layoffs.

The decisions about positions this action will affect and when any action will take place have not been finalized. Once a plan has been developed, it must be approved by the Chancellor's Office and then reviewed by our union groups. I am sharing this information with you now because I am committed to being as open and transparent about the situation as possible -- and I promise to continue to update you as new information becomes available.

In the meantime, I want to reiterate my thanks and appreciation for the passion, commitment, and patience with which you do your work in these challenging times.