President's Campus Communication 4/1/09

Dear Colleagues,

Since I wrote to you Monday, there has been considerable activity at the Joint Budget Committee as it struggles to bring the fiscal year 2010 budget in line with declining revenue trends.

As we all know, higher education is one of few areas in the state budget where large cash expenditures can be cut. At the close of business today, the JBC was tentatively set to cut more than $350 million from the state higher education budget for fiscal year 2010. The original fiscal year 2009 higher education appropriation was approximately $700 million.

Federal stimulus funding would not begin to backfill this reduction, but tomorrow morning the JBC will discuss whether other funding sources might be used to partially offset it. For example, today's discussion centered on drawing funding from state workers compensation reserves. In addition, the JBC expressed support this morning for allowing institutions to adjust tuition to help address funding cuts.

We are not sitting by quietly as this unfolds; however, as I have said since the beginning of the economic downturn, we are not going to panic. Please keep in mind all of this will continue to be in flux for some time, but we want to keep you informed throughout the process.



Kay Norton