Most of you by now have read this week’s WSU budget update from WSU Vice President Stacy Pearson. This announcement was the latest step in a comprehensive budget process outlined back in May that included an exercise where Voiland College was asked to develop an expenditure plan for FY2021 that represented a reduction of 10% from the previously budgeted amount.
As noted previously, WSU continues to implement a hiring freeze for all units and departments. This unfortunately prevents us from filling open positions for the near future. However, combined with our increased FY2020 revenues and reductions in discretionary spending on the use of state funds, these actions have substantially offset some of the impacts that will be associated with WSU’s budget reduction.
By August 7, the WSU Budget Office will provide us with a final reduction target for FY2021 and the amount of FY2020 budget carryforward we can use to offset our target. Over the course of the next several weeks I will be working with Voiland College’s unit leaders to assess the impacts of WSU’s budget reduction has on Voiland College and modify our budget proposal so that it has least effect on our critical teaching, research, and student support operations.
We will present our budget modifications to WSU leadership and expect a final update on WSU’s FY2021 budget after September 30. Look for more updates as we continue this process throughout the summer.
Budget reduction exercises are a difficult undertaking, and will likely continue over the course of the coming years as we face the uncertainties and challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic presents to all of us in higher education. I appreciate everyone’s commitment, patience, and understanding during this stressful time.
I especially would like to give thanks to the many staff and faculty who have been working hard to recruit and retain students within our college this summer. A college education is a crucial pathway to attain a better future – now, more than ever – and enrollment growth is a critical cornerstone in our ability to continue to provide students with a world-class classroom experience – whether it be in-person or online.
As the new school year rapidly approaches, I look to each of you to be proactive and develop creative solutions that allow our students to not just cope and survive, but to be engaged and thrive through innovative classroom experiences and state-of-the-art programs that will prepare them for successful and impactful careers.
I want to thank all of you who have shared your ideas on how to best tackle these and other challenges that we currently face. As always, please feel free to contact me or your unit leaders anytime with your questions, concerns, or thoughts.