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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

UGE Budget

Everybody talks about the budget, but nobody does anything about it.
Adapted from Mark Twain.

The legislature delivered a higher education bill a couple of weeks ago, and the University’s budget office delivered a collegiate budget to CLA on May 31. As I described in a blog post last fall, central typically comes up with state O&M or tuition funding to cover our compensation package (2% this year), requires us to “reallocate” (i.e., cut) a certain amount, and then allows us to ask for money back in the form of requests to make investments in various areas. This year CLA’s reallocation was $1.6 million, and our new funding for investment was $150,000. Ouch. That leaves a mark.

However, misery loves company. As far as I can tell, there was only about $1.3 million given out as investments University-wide. So where did all the money go? It looks like the largest chunk was almost $8 million that went to bail out system campuses or colleges in UMNTC that have serious structural deficits. As annoying as that is for us, we need to remember that CLA was on the receiving end of one of those transfers in fiscal year 2013-14.

What does all this mean for UGE? Most obviously, after three consecutive years of substantial investment in UGE (additional career counselors, additional advisors, additional scholarships, etc.), there will be no new investments in UGE this year beyond salary merit increases. In fact, the college tried to take as much of the cut as possible from administrative units instead of academic units (which have been losing faculty lines for years), so UGE is on the hook for a cut as well.

UGE’s contribution to balancing the college’s budget is $50,000; proportional to our size, this is a fairly small cut for an administrative unit this year, reflecting the importance of our core function in student services. This means that we either lose a position somewhere, or we trim programming by that amount. After discussion in the UGE leadership group, we have decided to take the cuts from programming in the following areas:
  • Eliminate Senior Celebration: $25,000 
  • Reduce Career Services programming funding: $9,000 
  • Reduce Dean’s Freshman Research and Creative Awards program funding: $4,000 
  • Reduce K-12 outreach: $12,000
Oh, one other thing. The supply budget of every administrative unit in CLA, including UGE, was reduced for next year. Fortunately, that is relatively small compared to the cut mentioned above.