As I have stated on several occasions and in my message to the campus community on February 2, we are currently facing a projected budgetary shortfall of $7 million. This gap will be addressed over three years, beginning with a $1.4 million reduction for the 2017–2018 academic year. A $2.8 million reduction will follow in both 2018–2019 and 2019–2020.
I am pleased to report that we have met our target for this year. Through careful analysis and thoughtful consideration, we have permanently eliminated $1.4 million in expenses from the budget. This amount includes approximately $1.25 million in salary funds and $150,000 in non-personnel funds. I thank all members of the campus community who have worked diligently with the provost and vice presidents as they have identified and absorbed cuts to arrive at this year’s rebalancing figure.
I also want to acknowledge the continued dedication and work of the Budget Committee Support Group, as well as extend a heartfelt thanks to those who attended and participated in the budget open forum presentations this semester. Your feedback at the forums, as well as through ideas submitted online, will continue to be shared with and reviewed by the support group.
We now must turn to the rebalancing target of $2.8 million for the 2018–2019 academic year. I have directed the members of the President’s Cabinet to have their respective reductions in place by July 1, 2018. At that time, I intend to again communicate with you regarding our success at meeting that target. I know that the cabinet is currently engaging in some difficult discussions as we plan for the next reduction. I have asked the vice presidents to continue communicating directly with their units about projected impacts of the reductions, and I encourage faculty and staff members to reach out to their respective vice presidents with any questions as rebalancing efforts continue. Looking ahead, we recognize that the third-year reduction will be the most difficult to achieve, so discussions are already under way for strategies and approaches to meet that target.
Please know that although we are looking carefully at each and every vacant personnel line for possible savings, we will continue to prioritize hiring that is central to the mission of our campus and necessary to provide an outstanding education for our students. We are also vigorously engaged in enhancing recruitment efforts, elevating student retention, and developing programming that will add to our future success, thus adding streams of resources and increasing enrollment in key areas such as transfer students and the Graduate School. Any additional resources will provide some measure of relief to the current rebalancing efforts.
I continue to be confident that we will weather this budgetary storm, and with innovation and creativity, we will find ways to continue to excel. We will be leaner after this process, but we will not lose our focus on providing an excellent, engaged, and socially responsible education to each and every student who puts his or her trust in a Buffalo State education.
Thank you for all you do to make Buffalo State a special campus. I appreciate your assistance as we rebalance our budget to ensure our future strength and sustainability.
Katherine S. Conway-Turner
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