Campus Budget UpdateJune 30, 2010
Dear Faculty, Staff and Students:
As I'm sure you're aware, the General Assembly is in the process of finalizing the North Carolina budget for fiscal 2010-2011. The Budget Conference Committee has worked incredibly hard to close the state's $800 million revenue gap while taking into consideration the budget proposals submitted by Governor Beverly Perdue, the Senate and the House. The committee's task in trying to fund many diverse needs with limited resources has been a huge challenge.
In the current economic climate, we've known that budget cuts for the next fiscal year were inevitable, and while it is never easy to have to scale back the important work we do at Carolina, we are ready to do our part to help the state through these difficult times.
Starting last December, we began planning for additional cuts in state funding. I asked our vice chancellors and deans to develop proposals that assumed new cuts at the 5 percent level as well as continued declines in funding from endowment earnings. As administrators presented their proposals to the Budget Committee in the spring, it was clear that they responded thoughtfully in planning for the possibility that difficult decisions about people, programs and operations would have to be made.
I believe that work, and the difficult decisions associated with it, have put the University in a good position. Cuts to the UNC system for the 2010-2011 fiscal year will include a $70 million reduction in the operating budget, and although we don't know exactly what that will mean for our campus, we don't think the cuts will dramatically exceed the 5 percent level we anticipated.
The General Assembly also has committed to fund the Board of Governors' request to meet need-based financial aid for North Carolina's students and to fund enrollment growth across the UNC system, a long-standing priority for UNC President Erskine Bowles. In addition, legislators have restored funding for the operation of many new buildings on the campuses.
Overall, the conference committee's budget is good news for our University. The ongoing support our legislators have shown for higher education in our state is extraordinary. Their efforts allow us to do the important work we do at Carolina every day, and for that we are truly appreciative. While the budget is mostly welcome news for Carolina, we realize that it marks the second year in a row with no salary increases for our employees. We know that with the changes in the State Health Plan, this has created difficulties for many of you, and we thank you for your dedication to Carolina during these challenging times.
This downturn has gone on a long time, and we have an uncertain future still ahead. But our campus community continues to pull together in the face of economic challenges. Our current students and the promising young minds of new students scurrying excitedly through C-TOPS this summer deserve no less. Our recent employee survey shows how much our campus believes in our mission, and that commitment is indispensable.
You are responsible for the success of our University and our students – thank you.