July 17, 2024

State Budget

On August 15, I was asked to attend a meeting of all agency heads in Richmond to hear from the Governor about the status of the State’s budget.  As has been widely reported in the news, he and his staff reported that they are projecting a $2.4 billion dollar shortfall over the next biennium due, for the most part, as a result of cutbacks in Department of Defense spending.  While no specific budget reduction targets were announced, the Secretary of Finance did report that he thought a reduction in the 5 to 6 percent range would be required.  He went on to say that all state agencies and institutions of higher education will soon be asked to prepare budget reduction plans to ensure the state operates within a balanced budget.  To that end, we were encouraged to take steps immediately to curtail spending and think about how we will respond to the forthcoming budget reduction directive.  Accordingly, I am instituting a temporary freeze on all new hiring at least until we receive direction from the Governor’s office regarding the University’s level of reductions needed.  I have also directed Cabinet members to begin discussions with their staffs with respect to potential approaches to additional budget reductions in their areas.

Regarding the hiring freeze, all recruitment activity is immediately suspended pending review by Cabinet members of which positions will be filled at this time.  Criteria for the review will include strategic necessity and impact on service and/or work flow.  Supervisors and managers will be consulted as needed.  We will move expeditiously to complete this initial review to ensure the least amount of disruption to operations while we assess the extent of possible budget savings through this action.

Until further notice, hiring managers will be required to obtain approval from their Cabinet VP before progressing to the next phase in any recruitment (advertising, interviewing, offer, background check etc.). HR must receive Cabinet level approval for any recruitment activity.  If you have questions, please direct them to the Cabinet member responsible for your area.

Until we receive instructions and direction from the Governor’s office, I am not able to share with you how long this hiring freeze will last.  As soon as we know more, we will communicate that to you.  I remain hopeful that this State revenue shortfall can be managed in the least disruptive way possible.

Thank you for your support, patience and hard work.

 

Richard Hurley

President