With the new fiscal year upon us, I wanted to share with you an update on our campuswide efforts to rebalance the college’s budget—a three-year process through which we will reduce our expenses by $7 million.
In April, we completed plans to permanently eliminate $1.4 million from the budget, meeting our target for the first year of the rebalancing plan. Since April, each cabinet member has worked with his or her respective division on a careful assessment and prioritization of resources to achieve a collective reduction of $2.8 million for year two of budget rebalancing. On July 1, each unit’s year-two rebalancing goals were finalized and approved, bringing our total budget reduction thus far to $4.2 million, or 60 percent of our final goal.
Of the $2.8 million rebalancing total for year two, $2.4 million of the reduction will be realized through salary savings from attrition and retirements. While our finances and staffing levels will inevitably be leaner after the rebalancing process, I am proud of the creative and innovative service and staffing reorganization plans that units have implemented as a result of this important analysis of our available resources. It is my belief that we will be stronger and more efficient at the conclusion of the rebalancing period.
I would also like to acknowledge the work and dedication of the Budget Committee Support Group over the past year. At the conclusion of the spring semester, I received a report from the support group providing an analysis and recommendations for cost savings based on input from the campus community—input that was solicited during the budget open forums this past spring and ideas that were gathered through this budget rebalancing website. The portal for feedback remains open, and I encourage faculty and staff members to continue submitting cost-saving ideas over the next year.
The support group’s report will be reviewed during the President’s Cabinet retreat this week, and we will analyze each recommendation to study what additional savings can be achieved. Included in the report are a number of new and interesting ideas for cost savings or revenue generation related to academic and class scheduling, restructuring, program changes, and enrollment. Later this summer, I will report back to you and outline the initiatives that we intend to pursue.
As a reminder, a list of frequently asked questions is posted on this budget rebalancing website. I invite you to review these topics, which include information about the difference between operating and construction funds, as well as an explanation about our position control and hiring policy during the rebalancing period.
Looking ahead to the $2.8 million rebalancing target for year three, we recognize that this will be a challenging goal to achieve. And while we are tracking toward our planned enrollment projections for this fall, please understand that any change in overall enrollment numbers—whether it is first-time, transfer, graduate, or most importantly retention—will necessitate a change to our year-three goal; however, I am encouraged by our collective efforts to date to rise to this challenge and remain steadfast in continuing to work together as we serve our students and fulfill our mission as SUNY’s urban-engaged campus.
Thank you for your dedication to Buffalo State and our students.
Katherine S. Conway-Turner
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