December 3, 2008
To the Campus Community:
We are all aware of the challenges our national economy faces during the next few months. At the state level, revenue projections are significantly less than anticipated. A report on the Sunday, November 30 news indicated that the projected deficit the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania faces may reach $2 billion.
A few weeks ago, Governor Rendell asked all state agencies to set aside 4.25% of the 2008-09 fiscal year allocation as a potential mid-year “give back” to the state. The PASSHE board of governors approved to set that amount aside. For Kutztown University, the amount is about $1.8 million. I anticipate we will be asked to return the funds to the commonwealth in the next few weeks.
Our intent is to cover this unprecedented, one-time give back by using some of our reserves, and some of the performance funding money we received for 2008-09, which we had earmarked for next year’s budget. This strategy will soften the impact for this fiscal year. Of course this means that we will not have those funds available for the new fiscal year that starts in July. As for the remainder of this year, we will be preparing for any other challenges that may arise.
It is time for us to look at this economic crisis together. We need everyone’s participation and help. Last week I met with Dr. Dan Benson, Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee, and Professor Ted Hickman, Chair of the Budget Review Committee of Strategic Planning, to discuss the budget issues we face. We decided to ask for your help identifying ways we can trim spending and maximize resources. We know that the combined knowledge and expertise on our campus can be a great help in devising ways to save money that we have not considered yet.
Dr. Benson and Professor Hickman agreed to work with the Budget Review Committee to compile, organize and synthesize those ideas and bring them to me. Thus, I am asking you to consider and think of ways to reduce costs. You can send your ideas and suggestions to either Dr. Benson or Prof. Hickman. You can send them anonymously if you want, by campus mail or via e-mail. The Budget Review Committee will receive the suggestions until January 30, 2009, but please do not wait to send us your ideas.
These are challenging times for all, but together we can find ways to creatively address these difficulties and continue to be a thriving campus for all.
Thank you for your assistance.
F. Javier Cevallos