Updated budget reduction projections

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

We continue to get a better understanding of the economic and financial realities we face as an institution. Based on a few key assumptions and the latest estimates provided, we are projecting our state appropriations for fiscal 2010 will be reduced by 11 percent, resulting in a $10.64 million reduction.

These numbers are still preliminary as the legislative session has not concluded and the fiscal 2010 state budget has not been finalized. However, we must continue making decisions that will affect UNI in a matter of a few months. The divisional vice presidents have received target reductions and have been charged to prepare a fiscal 2010 budget for their respective divisions by the end of March.

The divisions should plan to collectively reduce their fiscal 2010 budget by $5.58 million. Although the total state appropriation reduction is $10.64 million, we have taken steps to mitigate the divisional reductions for the coming fiscal year by utilizing one-time funds, among others. By doing this, the divisions will be able to phase-in the impact of the reductions, allowing the decisions to be more strategic in nature. However, the total reduction will need to be realized over time and will likely result in additional divisional budget reductions during the next few years.

The divisional vice presidents will work with their teams over the next several weeks and will meet with me in late March or early April to present their budget recommendations. Ongoing conversations with the Board of Regents regarding the budget will continue throughout the spring, and in May or June, the fiscal 2010 budget will be officially submitted to the Board for final approval.

Lastly, the Board of Regents will ask Iowa's public universities and special schools to hold flat the salaries for non-bargaining unit employees in fiscal 2010. While individual exceptions may be provided, UNI employees will be making this sacrifice alongside our state peer institutions.

The severity of the impact of the estimated reductions we face remains constant. The vice presidents have been charged to do everything possible to maintain academic quality, student progress to graduation, financial aid and campus safety and security.

Thank you for your continued dedication to serving our students and our state.