Although the state’s income shortfall and cash flow problems continue, barring unanticipated developments, we believe we will meet our FY10 payroll needs through June 30, 2010. While the FY11 (July 1, 2010 – June 30, 2011) budget has not been finally approved, the governor’s proposal would reduce the amount received by SIUE by a total of $5.43M, which represents 7.8% of our state allocation. Even if the governor’s budget is approved, we expect the cash flow problems to continue in FY11, which is why SIU continues to support the establishment of short-term borrowing authority (Illinois Senate Bill 642) for the universities. We expect to know about the budget and the borrowing bill sometime in May, when the legislature is scheduled to recess.
For SIUE, a number of budget exercises have been considered for FY11, some of them as a response to “what if” situations asked of us by legislators or as required by the SIU system. Sometimes these “what if” possibilities have caused concern or rumors about our staffing situation. Please be assured that the University Planning and Budget Council, the Vice Chancellors, and I are doing everything we can to work through these difficulties. I can say this: SIUE has responded to reduce its expenses significantly and we have planned to position us to get through FY 2011. While avoiding layoffs and furloughs continues to be our goal, our plans could be affected by continued cash flow shortfalls, lack of approval of borrowing authority, or the state simply not giving us our allocated funding. I wish I could provide more assurances about FY11, but at this time I can only declare that our plans are fully consistent with our intentions to preserve our work force as we proceed.
As a result of a slowdown in filling replacement positions, we have experienced reductions in staff in certain areas within the University. We are now approving short-term “extra help” appointments to assist in these areas, as recommended by the Vice Chancellors. Continuing faculty position searches have been approved by the Provost and are still being completed. While we value both our faculty and staff as important contributors to SIUE, faculty searches sometimes take up to a year to complete and it is important that we prepare to teach the 14,000 students we expect to enroll this fall at SIUE.
The Board of Trustees will likely approve at its meeting on May 13 a zero percent tuition increase for freshmen and new undergraduates as well as a zero percent increase in graduate tuition. These will be accompanied by a modest 3% increase in fees. As a University, we are attempting to maximize access, affordability and success for our students, even as we manage through our budget challenges.
We have created a new website, http://www.siue.edu/budget/ to keep you informed during the upcoming summer months regarding changes in our cash flow and budget situation. Updates will be made to the site as warranted.
I thank you all for your good work and contributions to your University, which continue to be a great strength to SIUE.
Vaughn Vandegrift, Chancellor