Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Special Budget Announcement from the President
As we approach the end of the fiscal year I want to bring you up to date on our university budget for 2011-12. As many of you know, the University faced yet another year of budget cuts from Tallahassee. Our reduction was $3.6 million in state support and $4.5 million of non-recurring federal stimulus, for an impact of $8.1 million for fiscal year 2012. Overall, the University has faced more than 30 percent, or $21.8 million, in reductions of state funding over the past five years. That is the bad news. The good news is that we’ve prepared and planned ahead.
These reductions come at the same time that we have grown our student body by 17 percent since 2006. This growth helps us reduce our dependency on state funding and positions us to better take control of our own future. Without this growth, our institution would now be facing a major financial crisis.
Rather, we are now in the position to make strategic investments to bolster and ensure our continued success. Our investments must be in support of our goals, and to that end, this year we are able to invest $6.62 million of growth funds to further our goals of purposeful growth, academic quality, student & collegiate life, partnerships and investment in people.
I am pleased to announce that we will invest more in faculty this year than in any previous year. In fact, we will make significant investments in faculty and enrollment growth support, including an investment of nearly $3 million that will result in a net gain of 22 new faculty hires. This funding is a testament to our direct support of growing quality academic programs as our student enrollment increases.
We will also invest in relieving critical pressure points in student support services including advising, counseling, career services and housing; SACS accreditation process software; marketing and fundraising; enhancing offerings for military and adult students; recruitment and enrollment management; institutional research and data; and the student banner software package.
Likewise, we will make reductions. We will not simply plug our growth funds into the budget to avoid the state mandated cuts. Our environment demands that we be strategic and not maintain status quo. These cuts in the amount of $2.1 million were recommended to me by the vice presidents, and I have endorsed their list with few exceptions. These cuts represent efficiencies, elimination of vacant lines and reductions in services in some areas. The vice presidents will work within their divisions toward implementation over the next few weeks.
For more information on the specifics of the 2012 investments and reductions, click here: http://uwf.edu/president/budget/assessment/documents/2011_12_investments_reductions.pdf.
I also want to mention that the Integrated Planning and Resource Allocation team will provide a report to me in July outlining a more transparent process for aligning our budget with our goals. I look forward to beginning our implementation with you this fall.
These are tough economic times for many, including Florida’s public universities. I am confident, however, that we can not only weather these challenges, but come out much stronger. UWF is a growing, vibrant institution with unlimited potential. I appreciate all that each of you do to ensure the success of the University and our students.