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Archive Notes - March 2010
Recently, I communicated with the campus about the progress we have
made implementing the financial blueprint, which we announced in
December. As promised, I want to share more details about our situation
and the actions we have taken thus far.
The plan we have
developed presumed, as its guiding principle, that every sector of the
campus would need to help to alleviate the budget deficit.
Consequently, the deficit was apportioned to each Vice President and the
President to manage our particular share of the problem. Obviously and
unfortunately, this plan is not strategic. While no area can easily
accommodate cuts of this magnitude, different sectors have different
resources they can bring to bear. We have attempted, where possible, to
protect the student experience. As a result, I have reduced slightly
the cut expected from Academic Affairs in order to ensure that critical
courses are taught, at least for the 2010 fall term. When we can
determine exactly what our budget will be for next year, we can then
make decisions about additional staffing for the 2011 spring term
classes. The budget blueprint also cut some areas beyond which they can
give and still provide necessary services. We need to stabilize these
areas or face serious negative repercussions. Areas affected include
admissions and financial aid, human resources, and physical plant, to
name a few.
The voluntary severance package has assisted us
significantly in reaching our reduction targets. A total of 18
individuals have opted to accept a package. This will result in a
potential savings of $600,000 in 2010-11. Beyond that, we have either
eliminated or are keeping vacant another 11 positions, resulting from
resignations and other vacancies. The potential savings from keeping
both these and the severance positions open could reach to just under $2
million by 2011-12.
We have no concrete plans to retrench or
layoff permanent employees (tenured faculty or those on continuing
appointments). Our goal has always been to preserve as many full-time
positions as possible where enrollments and program needs call for them.
Consequently, we will continue to balance our most pressing needs with
the resources that we have available.
Again, as I noted in my
last communication, we must begin to lay the groundwork for the
financial recovery that will come. Although the Governor?s budget calls
for an additional cut to SUNY, the Public Higher Education and
Empowerment Act proposal has very important reforms in it which can help
us recover from the current crisis and build a stronger college for the
future. Please contact your legislators to urge the passage of this
act. Similarly, the Bicentennial Plan is our blueprint for the future.
As funds become available, we will use them to immediately address
critical areas vital to serving students and essential programs. Beyond
that, we will then allocate funds to accomplish the goals of the
Bicentennial Plan. In order to avoid continual budget crises, we must
rebuild the College not by simply restoring funds to the accounts that
have been cut, but rather we must allocate available funds in an
intentional and visionary manner, to help develop the College we wish to
be, not necessarily the College we were. All budget allocations from
this point forward must be made with an eye to the future.