Budget Update

UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller released the following statement via e-mail to employees on Monday, February 16, 2015:

Dear Colleagues,

Let me bring you up to date on our planning activities related to the budget reduction exercise in which we are now engaged. First, I want to thank all those who have participated in this process as a member of one of the planning groups or by providing suggestions about how to proceed.

As I mentioned at the Town Hall meeting last week, I strongly support the proposed university authority. As proposed, the new arrangement will provide the system with a more stable funding stream (albeit one beginning at a much reduced level), a better chance to deploy a rational and more predictable tuition policy and regulatory relief that will allow us to be more innovative. Like many of you, I have questions about the details of how the authority will work. The Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB) continues its work vetting the Governor’s budget proposal. As the results of that work is released we will learn about the details of the university authority.

Legislative consideration of the Governor’s budget will begin in several weeks. We expect this to be a lengthy process in which we will be fully engaged with our colleagues across the system and with community leaders in this region. As we work with our legislative colleagues we will press for both the need for flexibility and relief from budget reductions we believe will harm the university.

Our immediate concern on campus is to plan for $4 Million in base budget reductions beginning 1 July 2015. Here is a summary of our activities to identify reductions and innovations.

  • Divisional leaders are working with the Provost to identify specific areas for possible immediate reduction.
  • The Cabinet is developing models of flexibility for possible use in temporarily mitigating reductions in order to maintain core functions.
  • The UPIC is studying the university budget in detail. This week that group will review enrollment trends and budget projections and begin discussions of the university strategic plan. The UPIC will begin discussing specific reduction ideas in one of the next two meetings.
  • The Invent the Future workgroup reports and the Steering Committee summary report are expected this week. The UPIC and all shared governance groups will be asked to sift through those reports and prioritize ideas therein. Ideas that help shape the university for prosperity after the cut will be taken up by the UPIC and the Cabinet.
  • The Chancellor, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Business & Finance have had multiple separate meetings with the President and system colleagues to discuss the reduction process.

A Town Hall meeting is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. Friday, February 20 in the University Theatre. I hope you will have a chance to attend.

The process of shaping the final budget at the state level will take months. Unfortunately, our work to identify reductions and deploy strategies for the future must be completed well before the beginning of the fiscal year. In the coming days we will begin discussing specific ideas for reduction. If you have concerns about ideas, please voice those concerns in a timely manner. We will do our best to keep you informed.

Thank you all for your participation in this process.

Gary L. Miller