From the Dean…
Many of you have asked me about the budget over the past few months. In his most recent State of the University presentation, Dr. Gogue provided an overview which I would like to share with you. Although it is nearly certain we will have a decreased budget next year the Deans have not yet been given any more detail than the President provides in these notes. As information becomes available I’ll share it.
Auburn University Budget Outlook
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
- There is a disparity between Auburn University’s recurring expenses and recurring revenues. Auburn must act decisively to bring the disparity into balance.
- At the state level, specific budget parameters beyond this year (FY 2009) remain largely unknown, so it is prudent that Auburn plan for a variety of conditions.
- Between 2006 and 2008, Auburn received significant increases in State appropriations during a time of strong economic growth. As a result, budgeted salaries and benefits grew by almost $100 million, investments were made in new programs and services, and Auburn increased enrollment to record highs.
- As the economy began to slow, the level of support Auburn receives from the State declined. The State appropriation was cut by almost $69 million from fiscal year 2008 to 2009, the most significant reduction in Auburn’s history.
- For year one, the $69 million shortfall was covered primarily from adjustments at the central level, allowing most university units to operate close to 2008 levels. Strong budget oversight and conservative fiscal policies through the years helped prevent such measures as employee furloughs and hiring freezes.
- However, Auburn is now facing further projected reductions in State appropriations and increases in some mandatory costs for fiscal year 2010. To balance expenses and revenue, Auburn will phase in reductions over two years.
- All areas of campus will experience budget reductions, and the way those reductions are achieved may vary by unit because of the decentralized nature of budgeting decisions. At minimum, expenses will be cut by slowing the pace of hiring, reprioritizing capital expenditures, improving the way we pay for goods, services and travel, and reviewing ways to decrease healthcare expenses.
- Instructional areas of campus will receive the least reductions to protect students’ classroom experience and maintain academic quality.
- Auburn is working to avoid university-wide layoffs, salary reductions and furloughs and position the institution in a positive way when the economy rebounds.