UAlbany Budget Updates
Message from President Philip on Wed, Oct 1, 2008
To Members of the Campus Community:
I want to take this opportunity to update you on the status of the State Budget and on-going fiscal challenges facing the University at Albany and the State University of New York.
As you know, the reductions in the FY 2008-09 State Budget adopted earlier this year and the subsequent 3.35 percent spending cap imposed in May by Governor David Paterson have already adversely impacted the State University and our campus (by over $76 million and $4.7 million, respectively).
In late July, citing further deterioration in the national and state economy and indicating that New York is now in a recession, Governor Paterson called for an additional spending reduction of 7 percent for all Executive agencies including the State University - a cut that, if implemented, could potentially result in an additional $96.3 million reduction in state support across SUNY and its campuses. At present, SUNY System Administration is working with the Governor's Office and the Division of the Budget in an effort to mitigate a possible second mid-year reduction (third overall this year) - making the case that the State University has already absorbed devastating and disproportionate reductions this year.
Complicating our campus' fiscal uncertainty, Governor Paterson in early September called for a "zero growth" budget for next year. If enacted, this would effectively result in a fourth consecutive budget reduction for the State University and our campus, since expenditures such as inflation, energy increases, and collective bargaining agreement costs would presumably not be included in SUNY's state operating base support for FY 2009-2010.
Unfortunately, the overall financial impact of the proposed 7 percent reduction and next year's "zero growth" budget on the University's campus financial plan remains unclear at this time. However, if these reductions are implemented absent adequate relief, the University's ability to deliver many fundamental academic and student services would be seriously compromised.
Accordingly, it is imperative for our campus to take proactive and prudent steps in anticipation of a challenging financial environment for the remainder of FY 2008-09 and next year, FY 2009-10. To this end, the campus is working diligently to develop a fair and practical financial plan - one that will enable us to weather these difficult times while protecting our core academic and student focused mission. One important element of the plan includes a hard "hiring freeze." The freeze will take effect immediately with details to follow through your appropriate Divisions, Colleges, and Schools.
Please be assured that as the budget process unfolds, I will continue to keep you apprised of new developments - both at the state and campus level.
While these are without question difficult times, I am committed - as I am sure all of you are - to continuing the University at Albany's tradition of excellence that we have worked so hard to achieve. The great strength of the University has always rested with our wonderful faculty, staff, and students. I am confident that together we will once again use our collective resolve to address and overcome this current challenge, and continue to build a great University for years to come.
George M. Philip