July 14, 2017 12:00AM
President Steve Scott announced today, in a letter to campus, that the university will cut its budget for the new fiscal year by approximately five percent. The savings will come from strategic spending cuts and the elimination of approximately 35 positions. Many, but not all, of the positions will come from current vacancies and naturally occurring attrition.
“Like many universities throughout the nation, we’ve experienced a recent decline in enrollment, particularly with our international students,” said Scott. “This trend, and the corresponding drop in revenue, leaves us facing a budget gap of nearly $4 million. Fiscal planning, including last year’s implementation of campus-wide spending restrictions, is allowing us to minimize the impact on personnel.”
Describing the number as “daunting,” Scott was clear about the manner in which budgetary decisions would be made.
“Every decision, every reduction and every reallocation is being made with our university’s mission in mind,” said Scott. “And that is to provide transformational experiences for our students and community. We anticipate serving approximately 7,000 students this fall. Our work will go on, as will our efforts to continually strive to get better.”
Along with spending reductions, Scott said the university is taking a proactive approach to future planning. Using suggestions from the university’s Budget Prioritization Work Group and Strategic Planning Council, university leaders are working to identify additional savings and opportunities for increasing revenues.
“It is not enough to cut; we must also be deliberate in deciding where we want to go as a university,” said Scott. “For example, our recent realignment and refocusing of efforts by our Admissions and International Programs and Services teams is resulting in promising new recruitment initiatives.”
Scott said that while the budget situation is difficult, he remains optimistic about the future of the university.
“A difficult financial year awaits us,” he said. “It will not be easy, but we have faced similar challenges in the past. Each time, we have succeeded by working together, staying true to our values and always placing students first. I have no doubt we will do so again.”