August 1, 2016 Update

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Campus Colleagues,

In my July 5 message to campus, I reviewed permanent budget reductions and the impact of “stopgap” funding approved by the state legislature. I noted that the stopgap funding, while welcome and helpful, still leaves us with significant financial challenges as we await word on state appropriations for the current fiscal year. This means that it is essential that we continue to conserve funds wherever possible.

As background, we are using the second stopgap appropriation -- $54 million for the Carbondale campus and $19.9 million for School of Medicine -- to cover salary expenses for FY16 that have already been incurred. We expect to receive reimbursement from the state in six installments from July through December 2016. The state payments will partially replenish cash that was depleted during FY16, but spending for the current FY17 fiscal year is not covered.

At this time, we do not know when or how much additional funding will be appropriated for FY17. The 10 percent permanent budget reduction implemented in July, combined with continued careful financial planning, will help us meet the challenges posed by uncertain funding.

Therefore, we must continue the cash management strategies in place to sustain ongoing operations:

  1. Freeze all hiring from any funding source except external grants, with exceptions to be approved by the chancellor.
  2. Freeze all travel from state funds except when travel is required as an essential function of the job. Examples include student recruitment and off-campus teaching.
  3. Limit non-essential travel from all other sources of funds (except external grants) in order to conserve cash.
  4. Limit all equipment and supply purchases, especially big ticket items, from all funding sources except external grants.

Vice chancellors will continue to review and approve every expense over $5,000, whether made using a purchase order or P-card.

Again, even with budget cuts and stopgap funding, we have significant financial challenges. I will appreciate your continued diligence containing expenses as the state works through its budget for the current year.

Brad Colwell
Interim Chancellor