Budget update from Board of Regents meeting

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Today, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, are meeting at UNI. As I indicated in earlier messages, I was asked to present UNI's fiscal 2010 budget strategy.

The total reduction UNI faces for fiscal 2010 is $15.9 million. This is a consequence of a reduction in General-Fund state appropriations and expected cost increases in financial aid set-aside, utilities, merit staff step-pay increases and faculty promotions.

We are grateful that one-time federal stimulus money will be made available to UNI. The combination of the stimulus funds and new tuition revenue will significantly reduce UNI's budget shortfall.

However, given the one-time nature of the stimulus funds, we are uncertain what our financial situation will look like for fiscal 2011.

Simply put, we must see the federal stimulus funds as a "bridge" to allow UNI more time to make rational and strategic decisions regarding our long-term sustainability and commitment to the priorities of the institution.

Therefore, the Board of Regents directed its institutions to continue to think strategically while preparing for the more challenging times that may lie ahead. At UNI, we will continue the work in progress -- focusing on strategic changes that will provide significant cost-savings or revenue enhancement in human resources, technology and other capital investments, administration and facilities.

Some of the proposed strategies I discussed with the Board of Regents are outlined below.

Proposed Human Resources Strategies

  • Explore extending vesting period for retirement plans
  • Reduce and reorganize UNI's workforce through the continuation of a selective hiring freeze implemented in February, attrition and reallocation, among others

Proposed Technology and Other Capital Investments Strategies

  • Outsource selected services, such as student e-mail to Google
  • Delay purchase of classroom equipment, computer and scientific equipment
  • Delay progress of administrative software development including delaying the progress on the document imaging project and computer facilities management system

Proposed Administrative Strategies

  • Eliminate non-mission-critical programs and services
  • Continue the reduction in out-of-state travel implemented in Feb. 2009
  • Reduce general fund support to auxiliaries
  • Reduce funding to Iowa Public Radio

Proposed Facilities Strategies

  • Delay building maintenance and repair projects
  • Continue implementation of changes to heating and cooling temperatures to reduce expenses implemented in Feb. 2009
  • Consolidate summer classes to fewer buildings

I am pleased to report the Board of Regents approved UNI's early retirement incentive program. The early retirement incentive program aims to provide cost-savings for fiscal 2010 and beyond, while also providing an attractive incentive to the faculty and staff who have provided years of positive contributions to the institution.

Human Resource Services will launch a supportive Web site on Monday, May 4 to provide information on this program. This Web site will allow eligible employees to register for informational sessions and request personalized benefits information as it relates to their retirement. Please go to http://www.vpaf.uni.edu/hrs/benefits/index.shtml on May 4 for more information.

At the June Board of Regents meeting, I will present a fiscal 2010 budget summary for review and approval. Campus-wide conversation, involvement and support will be instrumental as we move forward to finalize the fiscal 2010 budget and continue preparations for fiscal 2011 and beyond.

Thank you for your ongoing patience and dedication.

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View President Allen's presentation from the April 30 Board of Regents meeting.

View the Board of Regents budget presentation from the April 30 Board of Regents meeting.

View President Miles remarks from the April 30 Board of Regents meeting.