Elson S. Floyd, Ph.D. - 10/27/10
Sharing Budget Information
The continuing budget crisis at Washington State University poses a challenge for all of us. It is a challenge that we must deal with as collaborative partners, seeking the most equitable and cost-effective solutions.
Our university currently is facing two separate reductions in its state allocation. The first, which was included in the budget approved by the Legislature last spring, is a permanent reduction of $13.5 million. The second, ordered by the governor last month, will require us to further reduce our budget by $11.2 million on a temporary basis for the remainder of the 2010–11 fiscal year.
This is a daunting prospect. It is made even more difficult because these reductions are only the latest in a series of cuts in our budget over the last three years.
Although we are working with a relatively short time frame, we want people in the university community to be fully informed about the current situation and the options we face.
With that in mind, we have created a webpage at budgetplans.wsu.edu. At that site, we have posted information on the timeline of the budget process, information about the budget reductions we have already absorbed and the steps that we as a university have taken in response.
You will also find plans submitted by the campus chancellors and administrative vice presidents showing how they propose to absorb their share of the $13.5 million permanent budget reduction. Through a series of administrative reorganizations and consolidations and by being very prudent in hiring, the chancellors and administrative vice presidents were able to reach their budget targets by eliminating open positions and eliminating some permanent purchases of equipment, goods, and services.
That is good news. I commend our staff for working harder and more efficiently. It is through their diligence that this phase of the process was completed without requiring layoffs.
The plans from the academic side of the university, showing how colleges and academic departments will meet their share of the $13.5 million reduction, will be forthcoming, as will the plans from both the administrative and academic sides of the institution for dealing with the temporary $11.2 million cut.
As these plans are submitted and finalized, we will be posting links to additional information on the website. Our goal is to have an overall budget proposal to share with the campus community during the first week of December, with public forums to follow. We plan to have a new budget in place by January 1.
I can assure you that I share your deep concern about the impact that these reductions will have on our university. It will require our best thinking, as a community, to find ways to minimize the short- and long-term damage of these cuts.
I appreciate your understanding and your participation as this process continues. However, most of all, I appreciate everything you are doing in your daily work here at WSU to keep the university moving ahead even in these difficult times. Thank you.