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Washington State University

Office of the PResident

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. - 4/20/10

A Step Toward Reorganization

First, I would like to thank those people who attended Monday’s budget forum or watched the event on webstream. It is important for the WSU community to be well-informed about our institution’s budget situation and we will continue to share as much information as possible moving forward.

Those who are interested can access the archived webstream of the event at experience.wsu.edu.

Our university is again facing the reality of significant budget cuts for the upcoming fiscal year. Our situation is made even more difficult by the fact that this year’s $13.5 million reduction comes on the heels of an even deeper $54 million cut already this biennium.

As I have previously discussed, we plan to absorb this reduction centrally, creating a debt that we will pay back as the fiscal year continues. Jobs opened through voluntary retirements or other attrition will fall under the jurisdiction of the provost’s office; many will not be filled with the resulting savings going toward paying down the debt.

We will also be undertaking significant administrative reorganization, which will be critical to our effort to cut the budget while minimizing the impact on instruction and research.

One such reorganization will ultimately result in the consolidation of two areas within Business and Finance—Facilities Operations and Capital Planning and Development.

As a first step, we will move the architects, engineers, and interior design professionals now working within Facilities Operations to Capital Planning and Development as of July 1, 2010, the beginning of the new fiscal year. The final phase of this move will be completed July 1, 2011, when the two offices will be completely consolidated.

While outstanding work is being done in both areas, in examining their functions, we found some areas of overlap and some employees who are doing similar work in each office. Through this change, we hope to streamline operations, eliminate inefficiencies, and create a sense of “one-stop shopping” for the customers who work with these offices in delivering services. No longer will there be questions about which office might have jurisdiction in different areas of building maintenance, design, or construction.

This is only one step in a long-range plan to change fundamentally the way our university operates. This year’s budget reduction, and the uncertain financial path ahead for both our state and our university, makes it clear that business as usual is no longer an option. We are deeply committed to building a more efficient university and to eliminating unnecessary duplication of services.

I will continue to use this forum and others to keep you updated on our plans. I welcome your thoughts and suggestions and greatly appreciate all your hard work in keeping our university moving forward.