Hello everyone. I wanted to give you all a brief update on the status of our budget situation in the college.
As you are probably aware, these budget issues have been hitting us fast and furious and we’re having to respond to requests and mandates on extremely short notice. The FY 17 budget reduction to our college came up to slightly above 11% of our state funds. Roughly 4.5% came from the “penny plan”, or as I call it for ag, the “nickel plan”; 2.5% from the early retirement program; and another 4.5% from the frozen positions. We are still working very hard to try to get at least a couple of positions back, but we’ll see what the new Provost can do.
However, we have now been asked to come up with another round of budget cuts. To date we have no idea how big or small those cuts will be. The “FCAC” will be determining much of that. The colleges have been asked to quickly (over a few days) come up with some ideas on how we can trim our budgets to give to Provost Miller. Given that, I needed to respond with a thumbnail idea of what we might do. I will do that, but don’t want to go much further into the year without starting to work on a strategic plan. To that end, I have assembled our leadership team of heads and associate deans; and formed a strategic planning committee to help us hone our goals and programs to continue to meet our tripartite mission of teaching, research, and extension/service. That committee will be active through the next year and we’ll get you some more information as things develop about that committee’s efforts. Thanks to all who are participating including Kelly Crane, Chrissy Wade, Dan Levy, Brian Mealor, Warrie Means, Melanie Murphy, Ben Rashford, and Brant Schumaker. We will hope to add a staff person and a student as this committee becomes active.
I want to assure all of you that my goal as dean is to try to keep our college as strong and focused as possible, and able to meet our mission of linking the research, extension, and teaching missions on campus and across the state. That means we need to remain strong as a faculty and I will work to support you as we undergo the transitions needed in this downsizing.
More to come as these issues develop. Please pay close attention to the FCAC process and provide input as needed. You are also welcome to send ideas to me, or anyone on our strategic planning committee. Further, we will try to schedule an all-faculty/staff meeting early- to mid- semester to exchange information (once we have a bit more). Hang in there! I hope you have a good weekend, and a good fall semester. Frank.