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Washington State University

Office of the PResident

Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. - 9/17/10

Thursday's Budget News

Last month, Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire told state agencies that across-the-board budget cuts for state agencies would be likely in response to the fall revenue forecast. That forecast was made public Thursday and the governor has ordered 6.3 percent cuts for state agencies, including public universities, to take effect on Oct. 1.

It is our obligation to fulfill the governor's mandate, and we will do so. However, in absorbing these reductions, we recognize that we will be further cutting into the core of our university.

Through this continuing series of budget cuts, Washington State University has focused on taking the steps necessary to run as efficiently as possible.

We have been extremely conservative in filling open positions, preferring to allow jobs to remain open rather than having to lay off employees at some future date. We restricted the size of our incoming Pullman freshman class in recognition of our shortage of available resources. The administrative reorganization that I announced last month will allow us to achieve economies of scale and make the best possible use of the money we have available.

I greatly appreciate the extraordinary efforts put forward by our faculty and staff in keeping the university functioning through all the budget bad news. Clearly, based on the latest reports from Olympia, those extraordinary efforts will have to continue.

We must acknowledge, and prepare for, the possibility of further reductions. The latest projections put the overall state budget deficit for the upcoming 2011-13 biennium at about $4.5 billion.

We will continue to explore every cost-saving approach that does not undermine our educational, research, and service missions and that will allow us to remain true to our core values as an institution. Provost and Executive Vice President Warwick M. Bayly and I invite your suggestions on how to achieve those savings, both large and small.

Outstanding work is being accomplished every day here at WSU. By focusing on that, and on our shared commitment to the goals of this great institution, we can continue to make progress even in this difficult time.

Thank you for all that you do.