2024-25 Budget + Task Force on Financial Sustainability

Posted on February 27, 2024

Date: February 27, 2024
To: Chancellor’s Council, Deans, Faculty Senate Chair, Staff Senate Co-Chairs
From: Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr., Chancellor

In our running start to 2024, we’ve made significant progress toward tackling our budget challenges to reinforce the University’s long-term foundation. I appreciate every effort that you’ve brought — and continue to bring — to this challenging work. For the past few years, we have taken a hard look at our workforce and worked to reduce costs. Our key steps include a disciplined approach to filling open positions, using a dual-approval process; a reduction in administrators and their administrative staff; and reductions in staffing through unit reorganizations to improve efficiency without compromising on quality. Budget cuts over the last few years have not been as deep as necessary. We tapped into reserves to protect the academic core and prevent double digit cuts. This year, I asked senior leaders to provide budget scenarios for 1, 2 and 3%. Based on a review of submitted budget scenarios and the need to protect student credit hours, the institutional overall budget reduction for the fiscal year 2024-25 will be at 1.99%.

See below for details:

Division2023-24 State AppropriationPercent20245-25 Budget Cut
Academic Affairs
Academic Affairs*136,820,554-1.95%(2,665,293)
Student Affairs3,551,501-3.00%(106,545)
Research and Engagement2,135,275-3.00%(64,058)
Total Academic Affairs Divisions142,507,330-1.99%(2,835,896)
Administrative Divisions
Information Technology **12,150,642-1.99%(241,798)
University Advancement3,907,499-1.99%(77,759)
Finance and Administration24,128,950-1.99%(480,166)
Enrollment Management5,435,769-1.99%(108,172)
Chancellor (Communications, Institutional Integrity and General Counsel, Weatherspoon Art Museum, Chancellor’s Office)5,226,356-1.99%(104,004)
Total Administrative Divisions51,380,308-1.99%(1,022,468)
Total University193,887,638-1.99%(3,858,364)
* Excludes Partnership School ($3.34M); Excludes UTLC (University Teaching & Learning Center) shift in personnel and related expenses from Academic Affairs to ITS.
** Includes UTLC (University Teaching & Learning Center) shift in personnel and related expenses to ITS from Academic Affairs.
Note: Athletics does not receive permanent state appropriations.

Each year since I arrived in 2015, we have pulled every budgetary and financial lever at our disposal, including fundraising and research support — both areas where we’ve seen record performance. Still, we’ll need to do more to address the headwinds facing us. To prevent a steady drumbeat of withering cuts across the institution, we initiated two university-wide efforts: the Task Force on Financial Sustainability and the Academic Portfolio Review. We still have much more work to do together.

I am pleased that many leaders were inspired to act since the release of the Task Force on Financial Sustainability report last summer. At the university level, we are moving on two recommendations. First, we will resume a review of select unrestricted and obsolete endowments (under a dozen). The process will honor donor intent and, when appropriate and consistent with donor intent, reallocate funds.

Another task-force recommendation concerns strategic reorganization of our workforce, including opportunities to centralize functions that may be duplicated across the University. To that end, we will conduct a university-wide comprehensive organizational and operational assessment of marketing and communications functions. We will work on an assessment and a recommendation for an organizational model. Our goal is to ensure university-wide communications alignment, reduce redundancy and cost, and improve overall effectiveness of marketing and communications.

We’ll keep you updated in the coming months on additional investments, planning efforts, reallocations, and further actions. Meanwhile, please accept my sincere thanks for all your committed work and contributions. The groundwork we set together today will be delivered in positive results for the next generation of Spartans.

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