2018-19 Budget Plan
The following message regarding the University budget was sent to the University Resources & Planning Committee earlier today.
April 9, 2018
Subject: 2018-19 Budget Plan
To the University Resources & Planning Committee:
This revised version of the 2018-19 budget plan (originally distributed on February 23) has benefitted from thoughtful comments by the University Resources & Planning Committee, both as a group and individually, and the University community. The URPC response is posted on the Budget Office website (https://budget.humboldt.edu). While everyone has access to the full URPC response, here are a few of the major themes in the comments:
- Strong support for longer-term, sustainable, strategic budget planning;
- The need for rationale and justification for specific aspects of the reduction plan, notably the Children’s Center, Athletics, and impacts on teaching and instructional delivery;
- Suggestions about how employees, particularly administrators, could contribute to addressing the University’s budget shortfall;
- Support for targeted analysis of benchmarks by FIRMS codes, rather than across-the-board reductions; and
- Emphasis on the importance of clear, frequent, and accessible communications about the budget – both on campus and with the broader community.
I agree we need to communicate more effectively about budget plans, their justification, and their anticipated impact. I also believe that it is the responsibility of all members of the University community to share accurate information. A number of students have reported that faculty members have told them that the University’s budget situation will prevent them from graduating because of a shortage of classes. In fact, Academic Affairs has strengthened efforts to ensure that students will get the classes they need in 2018-19. As of today, the Fall 2018 semester has 93 percent of the seats in course sections that were offered in Fall 2017, a semester that had higher enrollment and in which course offerings exceeded demand.
Finally, I share URPC’s commitment to reaching a time “when fiscal stability allows the University more opportunities to focus on growth and self-investment.” This is a primary objective of our overall budgeting strategy to which I am committed. We have already implemented more than half of the reduction target, and when this work is complete, we will still have a substantial $135 million operating budget.
The University’s budget for 2018-19, which is available here (pdf), outlines the University’s overall plan so that departments and units can develop realistic budgets for the coming year. This is a Students First budget, reflecting our shared commitment to providing students with an outstanding educational experience as we move forward with the difficult decisions necessary to achieve fiscal stability.
As additional information about the budgets for the State of California and the CSU become available in the coming months, we will keep the campus informed via e-mail, the myHumboldt portal, the budget FAQs, and the University Budget Office website.
Thank you, once again, for your work on behalf of the University.
With best wishes,
Lisa A. Rossbacher, Ph.D.