News from the Corporation Meeting

February 21, 2009 Message sent by President Simmons

The Corporation Trustees and Fellows reviewed numerous strategies for navigating the economic crisis with an optimum outcome for the University. The Corporation established new parameters for the University budget in view of the more negative environment and approved an overall operating budget of $758.7 million for the 2009-2010 academic year which anticipates lower than expected revenue across nearly all of the Universities revenue sources.

Modest revenue growth is expected from tuition (based on a 3% increase to the overall undergraduate charge and an additional 2.9% increase to room, board, fees), decreased revenue from the endowment (a decrease of 1% in revenue providing a total of $111.4 million to Education and General budget), and an anticipated decline to annual fund gifts. Proposed savings and cuts coupled with reallocation of funds will allow the University to increase spending the areas of financial aid, faculty growth, inflationary cost in computing hardware, software and library acquisitions, support for new and renovated academic facilities and funding for transportation programs.

Greater levels of reductions totaling $6 million are needed for FY10. Targeted position eliminations for administrative and staff positions will be enacted to help achieve this goal in addition to achieving savings from permanently eliminating current vacancies.

The Corporation suggested reductions in the range of $80-$90 million by FY14 which are significantly greater than previous projected, including a reduction in the Division of Biology and Medicine operating budget. These additional reductions with require the Vacancy Review Committee as well as the Organizational Review Committee to identify further reductions for FY11 and subsequent years to meet the Corporations targets.

The Corporation also suggested considering re-using and renovating facilities as needed for those capital projects that are unfunded such as the Mind Brain Behavior and Medical Education buildings to avoid debt service expenses and minimize additional operational and maintenance costs. Fully funded projects which will begin construction or design include Creative Arts Center, Campus Center and Aquatics Center. 

The Corporation accepted and ratified gifts totaling $35.375 million which include partial funding for Mind Brain Behavior building, Campus Center, and the Aquatics Center as well as funding of scholarships, a professorship in humanities, and the Greater China Endowment Fund.