At last Friday's College meeting with the President and Provost, it was stated that increases in the size of the State's biennial budget deficit now suggest that an 8-10 percent reduction may be imposed beginning July 1, 2002. The University will make a series of targeted, unit-specific cuts followed by across-the-board horizontal cuts. Given this information, and news coming from Olympia, I believe we can safely assume that the era of "business as usual in our College" is over. Being a practical person, I think we should take immediate steps to plan deliberately how we will absorb such a cut in our permanent state budget. As you all know, a freeze on state expenditures for nonessential hiring, travel, equipment and supplies is already in place.
Effective March 1, 2002, in addition to the budget freezes referenced above, I am placing an indefinite freeze on the use of the College's state designated operating (DOF) and general operating (GOF) funds for payment of additional compensation to faculty or staff for extra services rendered during either the academic year or summer quarter. This applies to all temporary salary increases and summer salaries not approved in writing prior to the above date. This drastic step is necessary to preserve as many of our core activities as possible. I know that this decision will inflict hardship on many of you. I take this course of action only because I am concerned about the long term financial health of our College. Sadly, this will not be sufficient to cover our potential shortfall.
As previously announced, I am working closely with the EFC and our Chairs on these matters and they have been consulted about this indefinite freeze. Given that our GOF budget is about $10 million per biennium, a 10% cut in these budgets translates into a $1 million dollar reduction. In addition, we will be taking cuts in the permanent portions of selected DOFs. Although I will consider eliminating open faculty and staff positions, I do not intend to balance the budget with open faculty positions alone. I wish to retain as many open faculty positions as possible in order to allow the College to meet its future obligations with maximum flexibility.
I will be meeting with the Chairs, center directors with state budgets and the EFC soon to discuss how best to take future budget cuts. We need to ensure that critical instructional requirements are met. Budget cuts will most definitely affect payment for teaching by non-tenure track faculty and graduate students as instructors and as TAs, and perhaps more seriously than I outlined in my email of November 27, 2001, available at: http://faculty.washington.edu/bare/acade.html.
Budget cuts will also affect the staff services provided to our faculty, students and extended community. We will have to consider very carefully what services are essential for our mission and identify where services can no longer be provided -- or provided at a reduced level. We will also have to be creative in identifying funding sources for essential services.
In the meantime, I am instructing the Chairs and center directors with state funding to withhold 10% of their biennial state budgets pending implementation of the expected budget cut on July 1, 2002. I expect that the College will also identify a series of targeted, unit-specific as well as horizontal cuts. Although these budget reductions will cause distress throughout the College, I believe that if we proceed in an open and deliberate fashion we will emerge better prepared to meet our obligations to our students and our clientele around the State while fulfilling our mission.
B. Bruce Bare, Acting Dean