Since the beginning of fiscal 2009, on the heels of a national economic crisis, managing the university's General Education Fund operating budget has required all of us to work together to overcome numerous hurdles. These economic challenges are likely to follow us through the current year and well into fiscal 2012.
Budget Entries from FY 2009
The 2010 Legislative Session adjourned Tuesday, March 30. Unique to the legislative session this year was a supplemental appropriation to UNI for fiscal year 2010 for $5.2 million. Included in the supplemental appropriation bill was a provision stating that UNI may carry forward any unencumbered funds of the $5.2 million into fiscal year 2011.
The Iowa Revenue Estimating Conference yesterday projected an increase in state revenue of $900,000 for fiscal 2010, and $33 million for fiscal 2011. This equates to slightly less than a 1-percent increase in growth for fiscal 2011.
The Board of Regents, State of Iowa, voted yesterday to increase 2011-2012 tuition at the three state universities by 6 percent. While a tuition increase is not something we take lightly, it is necessary to help maintain our focus on maintaining quality programs, progress to graduation and campus safety. Even with this increase, UNI still faces a challenging budget situation for fiscal 2011 that will become more clear as the Iowa General Assembly takes action on the state's budget.
Gov. Culver released his budget recommendations for fiscal 2011 last week. Included in his budget are recommendations for restoring some $31 million to the Regent institutions. This is a welcome sign of support, however, we need to remain cautiously optimistic as the Iowa General Assembly continues its work on the budget.
Over the last several months, the campus community has been busy executing UNI's budget reduction strategies approved in October by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. Much progress has been made, and I appreciate your flexibility, patience and determination through these challenging budget times.
Faculty and staff,
In challenging economic times, our entire campus community feels the impact.
The 10-percent across-the-board state appropriation reduction announced in October challenged the university's budget further. Faculty, staff and students have been asked for their support to meet this new and unprecedented budget demand.
In challenging economic times, our entire campus community feels the impact. However the university will continue to commit to doing everything we can to place our students first by maintaining academic quality, progress to graduation, student financial aid, and campus safety and security.
Yesterday it was announced that members of the state's American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) voted to approve a proposal put forth to them by Gov. Culver and AFSCME leadership regarding mandatory unpaid days. The agreement between the state and AFSCME includes a provision requiring all AFSCME employees in Iowa to take five days of unpaid time off during the remainder of fiscal 2010.
I had hoped to have more information to share with you by now. Unfortunately, processes beyond our control are moving slower than expected. However, I do want to keep you informed about changes since my last message.
1. Temporary reduction in TIAA-CREF employer contributions
The conversation at today's Board of Regents, State of Iowa meeting regarding UNI's action plan to address the 10-percent budget reduction has concluded.
The Board of Regents has approved the action plan I outlined in my message earlier today.
A motion to recommend a $100 spring semester surcharge was approved by the Board of Regents and will be voted on at the December board meeting.
At the Board of Regents, State of Iowa meeting today, the state's public universities will present proposals to address an across-the-board 10-percent state appropriated budget cut for fiscal 2010.
Yesterday, the Board of Regents, State of Iowa held a special telephonic meeting to discuss how the state's public institutions and special schools will address the recent announcement of a 10 percent across-the-board cut.
On October 7, the state Revenue Estimating Conference lowered its fiscal 2010 revenue projection from nearly $5.8 billion last March to $5.4 billion. This new projection resulted in Gov. Culver's announcement of a 10-percent across-the-board cut to the state's fiscal 2010 budget. Board of Regents President David Miles also announced an immediate hiring freeze for all general fund supported positions and a moratorium on all new building construction projects.
At the meeting of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, today in Ames, the three public universities will present their preliminary budget plans for FY10. You may view a PDF of the slides UNI will share at http://www.uni.edu/president/budget/BoRpresentation_061109.pdf
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.
Over the course of the last few weeks, the campus community has inquired about the status of our fiscal 2010 budget process. While there is little new information to share, there are several steps taking place that will move the budget process forward.
While we still do not know our fiscal 2010 budget, the adjournment of the Iowa General Assembly session, perhaps this week, will move us one step closer to a final budget, including whether or not federal stimulus monies will be directed to the university.
We continue to get a better understanding of the economic and financial realities we face as an institution. Based on a few key assumptions and the latest estimates provided, we are projecting our state appropriations for fiscal 2010 will be reduced by 11 percent, resulting in a $10.64 million reduction.
The presidents of Iowa's three public universities addressed the Iowa General Assembly's Joint Education Subcommittee on March 3. President Allen's comments (pdf) as well as comments from the presidents of Iowa State University, the University of Iowa and Iowa's two special schools.
As the fiscal year continues, I am diligently working with campus community members on how we strategically face the economic challenges ahead. In every effort to keep you informed, I wanted to let you know that I and the other public university presidents will make a presentation at the meeting of the Iowa General Assembly's Joint Education Subcommittee to be held March 3. I wanted to share some of the key points I will plan to focus on at that meeting.
These are unprecedented times for our economy, for higher education and the University of Northern Iowa. In November and December, UNI experienced budget reversions that totaled 2.5 percent. Now, with the governor's announcement that his fiscal 2010 budget includes a 6.5 percent cut for most state agencies, including UNI, we are working to address a total reduction of 9 percent. This figure may change. Legislators have indicated it could be higher. The Revenue Estimating Conference in March will give us a better indication.