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FY '10 Budget Cuts, Looking Ahead to FY '11

Friday, January 22nd, 2010

Over the last several months, the campus community has been busy executing UNI's budget reduction strategies approved in October by the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. Much progress has been made, and I appreciate your flexibility, patience and determination through these challenging budget times.

UNI's action plan addressed the $8.8 million reduction by initiating the strategies mentioned below, but UNI is currently still $730,000 short of its targeted savings. To address this, we plan to use a portion of ARRA funds and limited one-time funds.

Fiscal 2010 budget reduction breakdown

The following initiative has exceeded targeted savings:

Temporarily reduce TIAA-CREF employer contributions from 10 percent to 8 percent of salary for the remainder of fiscal 2010 and 2011 for an estimated $1 million in savings in fiscal 2010. This temporary reduction has resulted in savings of approximately $1.05 million.

The following initiatives have achieved targeted savings:

  1. Make permanent budget reductions across the university through divisional cuts. Budget impact: $1 million. 
  2. Apply a tuition surcharge of $100 per fulltime student for spring 2010 semester. Budget impact: $1 million. 
  3. Initiate an across-the-board 10-percent cut to special line-item units. Budget impact: $400,000. 
  4. Redirect a portion of the ARRA (federal stimulus) funds. Budget impact: $1 million.

The following initiatives have experienced significant cost savings to-date but have yet to achieve estimated targeted savings:

  1. Reallocate unplanned tuition revenue as a result of higher-than-forecasted 2009-2010 enrollment. The estimated cost savings was $2.7 million; however, as of mid-January, the actual amount saved was $2.45 million. Because the final January enrollment numbers are not yet finalized, a more accurate total will be available in early February. 
  2. Conduct temporary layoffs among all employee groups in fiscal 2010 for an estimated cost savings of $1.8 million. The current cost savings as of mid-January is approximately $1.26 million. We have not reached the target due to two factors: 1) the savings of $260,000 from AFSCME employees conducting temporary layoffs has been directed to the state instead of to the university; and 2) the savings of faculty conducting temporary layoffs is $590,000 -- $205,000 less than the original target of $795,000. Instead of temporary layoffs, faculty have voted and approved temporary salary reductions. P&S and S&C employees have begun conducting their temporary layoffs and cost savings are estimated to be on target. I appreciate the investment faculty and staff have made to help UNI through these challenging budget times.
Fiscal 2011 budget

Each week of the current legislative session will provide a greater understanding of UNI's budget scenario for fiscal year 2011. Predictions of additional state appropriation reductions in fiscal 2011 have been made.

While speculative at this point, we are exploring several key strategies to mitigate or reduce costs, including: 1) strategic academic and nonacademic program elimination, 2) mergers or reorganizations of units/functions, 3) function outsourcing, 4) reduction of general fund support for auxiliaries, 5) consideration of other temporary, one-time reduction strategies and 6) reduction of administrative positions.

At the same time we pursue cost-saving measures, we also must pursue strategies that enhance UNI's revenue streams, including an increased focus on 2010-2011 enrollment. 

There are challenges ahead, but our responsibility to our students and the state of Iowa has not diminished. We must remain focused on the priorities at-hand in spite of the budget issues we face.

I will continue to communicate as more information is made available.

Ben Allen