Decisions on Budget Reductions

February 23, 2018

The following memo regarding budget decisions was sent to the University Resources & Planning Committee. It is being shared to keep the campus community updated and informed.


To: University Resources & Planning Committee

From: President Lisa A. Rossbacher

After extensive review of the challenges facing us and following consultation across campus, the President’s Cabinet has reached a number of decisions regarding budget reductions. We all take these decisions very seriously; they will have a profound impact on many members of the HSU community. 

The Cabinet’s plan to reduce the budget by $9 million will have effects across campus, but the University will be in a much more secure financial position as a result and therefore better able to serve our students. The attached plan is not an “across the board cut”, but rather it outlines a process that will make strategic reductions in the functional areas of the campus. Impacted areas will continue to be engaged where reduction details still need further refinement. 

I want to thank the URPC for helping to engage the University community in the budget discussion. I welcome feedback and additional perspective, including how we can best continue to engage in these discussions and your advice about implementation of the actions identified here. Please provide additional comments by Friday, March 16, so that we can stay on track to meet our goal of providing the campus with the 2018-19 budget by March 29.

Taken as whole, the reductions will help HSU address the projected $7 million deficit we face in 2018-19, which would have grown to a projected $9 million the following year if we were not taking action now. The Cabinet members are aware how difficult these changes will be for many areas of campus, but we have concluded that these decisions are imperative. We are proactively addressing the larger deficit now to alleviate the looming fiscal emergency.

The budget decisions outlined by the Cabinet demonstrate a serious effort to better manage our budget while minimizing the impact on our students’ educational experience. Throughout the process of making these decisions, students have remained our central focus. Our priority is making sure we do everything possible to help them be successful. They deserve our very best efforts, which means we must establish responsible, sustainable budgets that allow us to invest in the changing needs of our students.

As a University, we remain committed to investing in our highest priorities. Balancing budgets is not enough. For HSU to thrive into the future, we must continue to build upon our strengths and our values around student success, social justice, and environmental responsibility. In recent years, this focus has led to adding new tenure-track faculty, efforts related to equity and diversity, expansion of student support services, creation of place-based learning communities, and a new Center for Teaching and Learning.

HSU’s success is built on everyone’s efforts. Our current situation does not change that - in fact it enhances the need for our collective continued good work.

The Cabinet’s budget reduction decisions are outlined in this document (pdf).

More information and resources are available on the HSU Budget Office website.

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