June 3, 2023

Budget Update

I write today to keep you informed about our efforts to balance the 2014-2015 internal operating budget.  As noted in my previous message of June 17, this exercise has become necessary due to the impact of the state budget for UMW. In order to close the gap, we need to identify $1.5 million in savings.

My Cabinet and I met for several hours on Wednesday to determine how to address our projected state appropriation shortfall.  We ruled out the immediate use of the recommendations from the Strategic Resource Allocation reports; primarily because we could not close the budget gap by doing so.  We also ruled out the need for layoffs or use of a university-wide position freeze, actions previously utilized by the university when faced with a similar situation.  However, on a case-by-case basis, we may find it necessary to freeze some vacant positions.

Ultimately, we determined that the best way to achieve the goal is to assign budget reduction targets to each Cabinet member’s area, proportional to that unit’s share of the total university budget.  Specific plans on how each unit will achieve its target are due to me next month.

I assure you that we will complete this exercise in a thoughtful manner that will seek to minimize any negative impact and that will continue to support the essential core mission and priorities of the university.  I am extremely disappointed that this situation has suddenly been thrust upon us (as well as all of public higher education in Virginia).  I am particularly troubled that anticipated state funds that would have supported a modest salary increase for faculty and staff are not forthcoming.  Nevertheless, I thank you so much for your patience and loyalty to UMW and for working with us as we move through yet another difficult time.