December 28, 2011
A message to ULM faculty and staff from ULM President Nick J. Bruno
On Friday, December 16, 2011, we were informed by the University of Louisiana System staff of a mid-year budget reduction totaling $1,823,870 to our 2011-12 budget. This represents a 5.108% reduction to our state funds for this fiscal year.
This reduction was the result of the continuing impact of the current depressed economic conditions which we have experienced over the last several years.
This projection was made on Wednesday, December 13, 2011 by the state’s Revenue Estimating Committee. On Friday, December 16, 2011, a reduction plan was presented to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget.
Due to the deadline, December 27, 2011, for submittal required by the impacted agencies, including higher education, I convened the vice presidents, the chief business officer, and the budget director to formulate a plan to address our reduction.
During this meeting, our goal was to minimize the impact to the University of Louisiana at Monroe’s mission. Careful review was made of the entire remaining budget, and each scenario’s impact was assessed on the remainder of the fiscal year.
All unexpended and unencumbered funds for the entire university were evaluated in our deliberations. While no budget reduction results in a positive impact on an institution of higher education, the following plan minimizes the impact to all of our essential services.
We will continue to seek strategic partnerships with other agencies/institutions as well as work with our legislators, community, business partners and alumni, to move ULM forward.
Following is the plan to meet the required reduction:
(Please note that all amounts listed below have been rounded.)
- Savings from currently vacant and filled positions will total approximately $400,000. The special assistant to the president, which is currently filled, will be discontinued on January 1, 2012. The assistant vice president for academic affairs will remain vacant until further notice as will three currently vacant faculty positions. This action will result in approximately $400,000. In addition, a partial hiring freeze will begin immediately. Only those positions deemed critical for the spring and summer semesters will be employed.
- Travel will be reduced by approximately 50% ($150,000) of the remaining balances. In order to better monitor the remaining funds, they will be transferred to the respective vice president’s budgets. The vice presidents will work with their respective budget unit heads in the expenditure of those funds.
- Operating expenses including utilities and supplies will be reduced by $810,000. Essential supply needs, labs, clinics, etc., will be met. Efficiencies in the utility management and appropriate charges to other funds will account for $500,000 of this total from utility expenses.
- Lastly, approximately $500,000 will be reduced from unexpended capital outlay and acquisitions.
As an institution, we have dealt with many challenges over the last several years. I recognize the sacrifices you have made while remaining committed to this great university.
I continue to be optimistic that we will, through our collective efforts, move forward in a strategic manner and position this university for growth when our state recovers from its current economic challenges.
I will provide to you, during University Week, a more detailed report on this current matter.
Nick J. Bruno, Ph.D.