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Office of Academic Affairs

Budget message FY13

 

TO: Faculty and staff
FROM: Provost Mike Sherman and CFO David Cummins
DATE: Thursday, July 19, 2012
RE: Budget update

Dear Colleagues,

The budget approved for 2012-13 by our Board of Trustees at its last meeting puts us on a clear path to achieve many of the goals outlined in Vision 2020. Most importantly, the budget for the new fiscal year remains focused on our shared priorities and goals:

  • Student success: We will strengthen investment in programs, staff and services focused on enrollment, retention and persistence to graduation, improving our academic profile and the value of the college experience for each student.
  • Academic distinction: We will invest in faculty and programs that are distinctive and multidisciplinary in ensuring student success.  We remain committed to a yearly investment of $2 million in such programs that ensure academic excellence and distinction.
  • Fiscal integrity: Faced with significant challenges due to reductions in state funding, we will demonstrate fiscal restraint and prioritize spending with a relentless focus on achieving strategic goals.  Our enrollment strategies reflect an investment in long-term growth and fiscal stability. 

As you know, the fiscal year begins anew each July, and though the campus appears somewhat quieter, the work of the University remains intensive, as leadership, faculty and staff work to meet revenue goals and budget estimates. This includes a focus on enrollment—new students, transfer students, non-traditional students—who are looking for the kind of value in a college degree that we can provide through a distinctive Akron Experience.

The budget approved by the Board of Trustees offers the roadmap for decisions on spending. Read the budget document provided to the Board at its June meeting.

The Fiscal 2013 budget acknowledges the economic challenges posed by declining state support, balanced against the need to invest in our students’ success. Budget assumptions are based on flat enrollment compared to last year. As with all budgets, this is a dynamic document, subject to adjustments in “real time.” 

Academic departments are working on ways to reduce their budgets by an average of nearly 3%; non-academic departments are working on ways to reduce their budgets by an average of nearly 6%. 

Our attentiveness to budget management has implications for hiring decisions.  We encourage restraint in additional hiring and the filling of open positions. A process is in place through the Provost’s office to ensure that all hiring is strategic and critical to achieving Vision 2020 goals.

Under the auspices of shared leadership, the Deans, Vice Presidents, Chairs, Directors and Unit Heads will be involved in the planning and implementation of initiatives to optimize budget management, effective communications with their staffs and proactive and strategic responses to opportunities.

We will regularly communicate with the campus community so that everyone is informed about how strategic budget management is necessary to achieving our collective goals and aspirations.    

Thank you for everything you do to help in this process. We welcome your suggestions on enhancing the student experience and ensuring student success. Should you have questions, please send them to budget-questions@uakron.edu and we will address them in upcoming communications.

See also:

The University of Akron

Akron, OH 44325
Phone: 330-972-7111
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