The University administration expects that substantial expenditure reductions from the FY04 base budget will be required to balance the FY05 General Education Fund budget, and that a substantial portion of the reductions must be focused and guided strategically. Accordingly, President Skorton has initiated a process for strategic budget reductions that will help solve the immediate budget difficulties, will help protect the more central University curricular functions, and could enable very selective growth to occur for the most critical academic initiatives.
This process will be coordinated by the VP group and the Deans, acting in concert. The VP Group and Deans acting together will develop an initial list of programs to be considered for possible reduction or elimination of General Education Fund financial support. Program funding actions could be accomplished immediately or on a phased basis if, for example, a phased reduction would permit identification of alternative funding (only in exceptional cases can the phasing extend past FY06).
A General Education Fund Task Force will be established to provide for additional, broad-ranging input into this process. The Task Force will evaluate the initial list of programs to be considered, propose other programs as it determines, and make recommendations for spending changes to the VP Group and Deans. The Task Force will comprise elected leadership from Faculty Senate, Staff Council and Student Government, as well as other prominent faculty and staff with relevant experience or expertise. The Provost, V. P. for Finance and Operations, and General Counsel will join the Task Force as ex officio members.
The Task Force will be charged generally to prepare a report by April 15, 2004, recommending not less than $12 million in recurring General Education Fund spending reductions. In particular, the Task Force will be asked to:
Communications with the Task Force will be through its chair or staff designated by the chair. Communication with the VP’s and Deans will be through the Provost and VP for Finance and Operations, or staff they have designated. The University General Counsel will join the Provost and Vice President in working with the Deans and the Task Force.