I'm not going to interpret or jump to any conclusions, but read carefully my friends this is an indicator that things will be getting very ugly. Perhaps if we had better heating/cooling/lighting systems instead of running all those in the middle of the night, this wouldn't be an issue... but what do I know. I'm just a number.
To: Faculty, staff and students
From: President Bernie Machen
Re: UF's Budget
With the Legislature wrapping up its special session this week, I want to bring you up to date on our current budget situation and outline how we plan to proceed in developing the budget for the next year.
As part of its mid-year budget plan to close a $2.3 billion shortfall, the Legislature made permanent the 4 percent hold-back from last July. We have already set aside these funds, so no more cuts for the current fiscal year will be required. In taking this action, the Legislature agreed to our request not to be cut beyond the 4 percent due to the difficulties of reducing budgets in the middle of an academic year. Next year, however, is problematic.
Over the last two years, the state's budget has been reduced $7 billion and estimates are that next year's budget will be at least $3.4 billion less than this year. That is a huge deficit going forward and all sectors of the state will be affected. The anticipated size of the overall reduction is much discussed; we are preparing for an amount in the $72 million to $75 million range. Therefore, I am asking all units (academic and administrative) to prepare budget reduction proposals in the amount of 10 percent of their current budget. This process will involve faculty, staff and students but is led by the administrators who are responsible for fiscal matters. Provost Joe Glover and others are also developing a set of possible reductions that cut across units.
We expect to have a list of possible reductions by mid-to-late March and have open discussion for 30 to 45 days so everyone has the opportunity for input. The legislative session ends on May 1, after which we will know the exact amount of our reduction. At that time, final recommendations will be made to the Board of Trustees.
We will keep you informed with periodic updates over the next four months as we move through the budget-cutting process. The information will be posted on a new Web site dedicated to the budget that will be up and running in coming weeks. A link for the Web site will be available on UF's home page.
Thank you for your support during this difficult time. We are a strong institution and will weather the difficult economic times ahead.