July 5, 2016 Update

Main Content

To the Campus Community,

Following last week’s welcome agreement in Springfield on a stopgap spending plan, I want to update you on the status of our budget.

We just concluded a difficult fiscal year, and the year ahead looks challenging as well. However, I am proud that we have maintained our core programs and services for students.

As you may recall, in April we received $29.26 million in stopgap funding during fiscal year 2016 – roughly a third of our anticipated state appropriation. To help us get through the year, we made $13.6 million in one-time and permanent reductions to our state budget, severely limiting hiring and other spending.

The temporary state budget approved last week provides the university with $54 million, plus $5.3 million to cover spring 2016 MAP grants. (Please see today’s announcement by SIU President Randy Dunn regarding fall 2016 MAP grants.)

Added to the previous stopgap funding, our state appropriation totals $83.29 million. That is 82 percent of the $101.58 million we anticipated based on the last year of full funding, which was fiscal year 2015.

Another way to look at this is that based on the $101.58 million appropriation, full funding for last fiscal year and the new fiscal year would have totaled $203.17 million. When you add the two stopgap appropriations together, we will have received 41 percent of our anticipated state revenue over the two-year period.

We certainly appreciate the bi-partisan effort among our elected state officials that resulted in the partial budget. And while we have managed our finances carefully, we continue to face significant challenges.

For the last several months, units across campus have been planning for a potential reduction in our state appropriation for the new fiscal year as well as an anticipated enrollment decline in the fall. Overall, we are making permanent reductions of 10 percent to our accounts that are funded by a combination of state appropriation and tuition revenue. We are basing the 10 percent off of the final budget for fiscal year 2015, since there was no budget for last fiscal year to use as a starting point for the reduction.

Overall, this means that we have looked across campus for $21 million in permanent savings. Each vice chancellor was asked to plan for at least a 10 percent reduction for his or her area, although they had discretion about how to make the reductions. This means that some units, such as academic affairs, may have been asked to cut less than 10 percent, and others, such as athletics, more.

As you might imagine, this was a challenging task given the already lean budgets in place after years of reductions, and I appreciate the significant effort. The outcome protects most positions and academic programs. However, the positions of two Civil Service employees were identified for layoff, and five continuing non-tenure-track faculty members received layoff notices. Additionally, roughly 10 non-tenure-track faculty who were on term appointments for the 2015-16 academic year will not have their appointments renewed for the next academic year. About a dozen non-tenure-track faculty will have term appointments in the 2016-17 academic year that are at a lower percentage time status as compared to their appointment in the last academic year. In addition, a total of 155 positions – 45 faculty lines and 110 staff lines -- remain unfilled.

There continues to be some uncertainty regarding state-funded grants, meaning there could be additional impacts. For example, 49 pre-school teachers in the Southern Region Early Childhood program received layoff notices. If, as we expect based on last week’s legislative action, that state grant is renewed, the layoff notices will be rescinded.

Nearly $10 million of the total budget reduction is the result of the elimination of vacant faculty and staff positions and 125 half-time graduate assistant positions funded from state accounts, as well as the previously mentioned layoffs and non-renewals. In many cases, colleges have been able to avoid cancelling courses by reconfiguring teaching assignments, consolidating sections of courses that were under-enrolled, or by combining sections if appropriate.

Examples of other budget reductions include: $385,000 for library materials, $300,000 for undergraduate research, $500,000 for research centers, and $1.1 million for deferred maintenance – which will slow down needed improvements to academic buildings.

Reductions, by area, to state accounts:

  • Chancellor: $638,168, or 10.15 percent of final fiscal year 2015 budget
  • Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs: $13 million, 9.23 percent
  • Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance: $3.37 million, 10 percent
  • Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs: $240,043, 10.64 percent
  • Vice Chancellor for Research: $580,737, 11.59 percent
  • Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations: $349,649, 13.11 percent
  • Intercollegiate Athletics: $195,515, 12.6 percent
  • School of Law: $305,000, 10 percent
  • Economic Development: $64,437, 12.87 percent
  • Campus-wide Allocations (includes such items as debt service, liability insurance and reserves): $2.2 million, 15.93 percent

LOOKING AHEAD

We cannot assume that this is the end of our need to retrench, as the state will continue to face budget challenges ahead. Informal discussions regarding creative long-term solutions, such as strategic consolidations of programs and academic units, are underway. I also applaud my colleagues in the Faculty Senate and Graduate Council, who, through the Joint Task Force on Academic Prioritization, are finalizing a report on program prioritization.

I look forward to thoughtful dialogue with the campus community as we work together to develop strategies for future success. My goal is to work collaboratively with faculty, staff and students to build a pathway to a future we can be proud of, while recognizing that we must continue to generate fiscal savings and to operate as efficiently as we can.

Thanks to your hard work and dedication, we will continue to serve our students, region and state for many years to come.

Brad Colwell
Interim Chancellor