Letter From President on Budget
April 9, 2003
Dear Campus Community,
I am writing to provide some information regarding the FY03 and FY04 budgets and will continue to make additional information available as decisions are made.
I am pleased that the governor announced a much smaller reduction for FY03. We will be required to return 2.9 percent (or almost $1.8 million) of this years general revenue budget. While these reductions will impact our operations, we had been planning for a reduction in this range and had already identified purchases and unfilled positions to meet the need.
I am very concerned about the level of reduction in the governors FY04 budget. The announced 8.2 percent reduction (approximately $5 million) will greatly impact our operations. We will have to curtail purchases in the areas of technology, curtail significant deferred maintenance projects, and again not fill significant numbers of positions. We will also work with the Board to determine an appropriate tuition level for our incoming freshmen under our cost guarantee program. Please know that we will continue to make our two top priorities protecting our academic mission and preventing layoffs of current employees.
To illustrate the decline in state support, Western received $65,047,800 in state funds in FY02; the Universitys FY03 state support will be $59,357,800 and the governors recommended FY04 state support level is $56,091,100. Additionally the University will allocate $1,944,800 of its state allocation for employee health insurance.
The Governor also indicated that he is asking us to complete reallocations in our non-appropriated fund budgets in order to enhance our instructional mission and offset inflationary costs. Again, we will need to assess these requests in light of our overall operations.
I am, of course, also disappointed that the Performing Arts Center is not on the list of capital projects recommended for FY04. However, we will continue to work on our two top facilities priorities with all of our legislators and the Board of Higher Education: the desperately needed Performing Arts Center for the Macomb campus and enhancing our presence in the Quad Cities
Once we receive more specific details from the Bureau of the Budget, I will be meeting with the Vice Presidents, Deans, and staff to review possible strategies, seek campus input, and communicate with all constituents. Also, since the budget still needs to go through the legislative process, there may be further changes.
Please know that I appreciate all of the support I have received during these difficult budget times.