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Budget Update – February 19, 2014

Posted on Friday, February 21st, 2014 under Budget News

The following communication from Chancellor Brady was emailed to faculty, staff and students on Wednesday, February 19, 2014.

Dear faculty, staff and students,

While UNCG’s budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year will not be known until the conclusion of the General Assembly’s legislative session this summer, I wanted to take this opportunity to share with you what we now know and to seek your input.

We are currently preparing for a reduction of approximately $12.8 million to our state-appropriated budget in 2014-15. Nearly $8 million of that reduction is due to a drop in enrollment. Most of the remainder of the anticipated budget reduction is contingent on whether the following are included in the 2014-15 state budget that will be finalized this summer: a) the second year of cuts included in the 2013-15 state budget passed by the General Assembly and signed into law last summer ($1.5 million); b) a 2% cut request from the Office of State Budget and Management ($3.1 million). The last piece of the reduction will be used to provide funding for anticipated ongoing Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) and compliance expenses ($300,000).

I have been working with the Executive Staff, Deans Council and Faculty Senate leadership since early January on strategies for addressing the budget cut and stabilizing our enrollment in order to avoid this situation in the future. I have charged our university’s leaders to develop strategic approaches to their budget cuts, avoid horizontal (across the board) reductions, identify vertical cuts, administrative efficiencies and collaborations across divisions, and place priority on protecting enrollment and instruction. The latter point is critical in order to avoid another significant reduction in 2015-16.

I met with the Deans Council on Monday and plan to meet with the Faculty Senate on Thursday. The purpose of these meetings is to share my thoughts on how to approach these reductions and the ongoing enrollment challenges and to solicit feedback from these important constituencies. The situation in which we find ourselves will require difficult decisions regarding academic priorities, faculty and staff responsibilities, and administrative structures/functions. Our top priorities must be enrollment and student success.

Despite recent economic challenges and a rapidly changing higher education landscape, UNCG continues to gain national recognition for the success of our students, faculty and staff. Just last month, The Education Trust highlighted UNCG as one of eight universities across the country for its efforts to improve student retention and success. And earlier this month UNCG was listed among only 19 universities that fare well on all three criteria of the Postsecondary Institutions Rating System (PIRS) measuring affordability, access and quality. In short, we remain committed to providing a high quality education at a competitive price.

It is when faced with adversity that your innovative ideas and our collective resolve are most critical to our continued success. I want to thank many of you—students, faculty and staff—who have already reached out to me to express your concerns about the potential impact of these cuts on our academic mission. Working together, we will emerge an even stronger university. I welcome any additional thoughts and suggestions for dealing with the difficult challenges we face. You can reach me at lpbrady@uncg.edu.

We will continue to refine our strategy for approaching these reductions, including the appropriate allocation of cuts across the divisions of the university, as I meet with the Board of Trustees, Executive Staff, Faculty Senate, Deans Council and Staff Senate leadership in the next few weeks.

Thank you for all you do for UNCG.

Sincerely,

Linda P. Brady
Chancellor

Posted in Budget News.