UAlbany Budget Updates
Message from Provost Phillips on Mon, Nov 15, 2010
Dear Members of the UAlbany University Community:
I write to provide a brief update on our University budget, and on our ongoing campus conversation. In recent weeks, there has been significant erroneous information and speculation in circulation, and we are providing information on the Budget Updates website as quickly as possible, to insure that the campus community has clear and accurate information about the budget situation and about the decisions we face. You'll find the link on the main university web page, and I urge you to visit that site regularly, especially the FAQ's (http://www.albany.edu/budget/faq.shtml).
I also want to call your particular attention to a link there to an editorial piece that President Philip wrote about the excellence at the University at Albany (http://www.timesunion.com/default/article/UAlbany-will-continue-to-excel-710832.php). Our recent efforts are not only about meeting a budget reduction target; they are also about preserving a competitive edge, building on our strengths, maintaining our comparative advantage in the higher education market place.
I want to acknowledge that the President's announcements on October 1 have prompted many responses about the five programs for which we have suspended admission of new students. We have received many messages of concern about that decision from on and off-campus constituencies. These messages are a mixture of calls to exact the reductions in other non-academic parts of the institution, and calls to exhort New York State and SUNY to fund our institution in a better way. We are all grateful for these expressions of concern and support for the University. All these arguments are being heard during this period of discussion and consultation about how best to address the disinvestment in SUNY and the choices that are required to maintain our excellent programs.
As we consider the prior budget announcements, we regret having to report that our situation has worsened since my last update. We were recently informed that UAlbany's base budget will be reduced by an additional $1.7 million in recurring State support effective immediately. The President authorized the allocation of one-time savings to address the immediate requirement, and he has instructed the Budget Office to incorporate the recurring base budget reduction into our planning requirements for the future. I report it to you now in the spirit of full disclosure and to underscore the serious and continuing character of our State funding problem.
In spite of these challenges, we remain optimistic about the future of our University. In recent weeks we have had many occasions to celebrate the achievements of our outstanding faculty that remind us of the importance and quality of our scholarship and our work in educating the next generation. While we consider the future, it's important to acknowledge the many daily examples of positive impact and influence on students' lives that abound in all the University's programs.
We know that our path forward as a university community is strongest when we work together, and we look forward to our collaboration in the days ahead. As always, your comments, questions, and suggestions are welcome (SuggestionBox@uamail.albany.edu).
Susan D. Phillips, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs