Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Executive Division > Bulletin 12-4-08
Dec. 4, 2008
The details are not yet clear, but it is certain that falling revenue for state government is going to have a profound impact
on our university. Further, the impact will continue into the foreseeable future.
Already, based on recommendations the state budget director made to the
governor, we are planning to cut 3 percent from the FHSU budget for
this year. (Fiscal Year 2009 began July 1 of this year and ends on June
30, 2009.) By making the decision to suspend action-plan funding this
year, we will be able to use one-time money to address that shortfall.
Unless the Legislature orders cuts beyond 3 percent when it convenes in
January, we will be able to avoid reductions in operating budgets and
labor during FY2009.
However, FY2010 presents far more serious challenges. That budget must include the 3-percent cut in base budgets from
FY2009 plus additional cuts.
I know that each of you are watching and wondering as you hear media reports about the budget crisis and that you are
listening to speculation -- sometimes, wildly irresponsible speculation -- about what the future may hold. In hopes of
quelling the rumor mill and giving you solid information, I will issue this Budget Bulletin at least once a month for the
foreseeable future. No one can predict with certainty what the future holds for the world economy, the U.S. economy or the
Kansas economy in the coming months and years, but I will keep you informed about the facts as they unfold.
On Wednesday, I gave a report to my Cabinet in the morning and to the university community as a whole during a special
University Open Forum in the afternoon. This first issue of the Budget Bulletin summarizes that report.
The last time we faced a budget crunch was in FY2002 and FY2003. Budget cuts and unfunded mandates from the state created
a shortfall of more than $3 million during that period. Faculty and staff went without raises one of those years, you
experienced significant increases in health-care premiums, and we made some fairly small reductions in the operating
budgets of offices and departments. For the most part, though, we were able to deal with that crisis without significant
cutbacks in daily operations.
Unfortunately, the state of Kansas is now out of balance by an
estimated $1 billion. This is sure to create a budget problem of a
magnitude we've never dealt with before at FHSU. Business as usual will
not be possible. We are all going to feel the changes.
It is important to emphasize that we do not know how deep and lasting this budget crisis will be, but as I worked with my
administration to develop a plan, it was important to first set down some planning assumptions. We have agreed to keep these
four principles in mind as we move forward:
We will pursue the following steps to deal with the FY2009 and FY2010 budget shortfalls:
Finally, I have directed all budget managers to submit plans by Feb. 1, 2009, that address two steps: 1. A plan to reduce their
base budgets for FY2010 by 3 percent; and 2. A plan to make an additional 3-percent reduction in their FY2010 base budgets,
although the second 3 percent can be a combination of cuts and efficiencies. These cuts are based on the total budget for each
unit. Because a university is labor-intensive by nature, we recognize that in many cases it will be necessary to make some
reductions in personnel costs in addition to reductions in OOE.
Instead of imposing travel freezes and other cost-cutting directives
from the top down, I want to empower budget managers across campus to
set priorities and make recommendations for changes that will be most
effective and least harmful within their offices and departments.
I know this information is a lot to absorb, but you deserve to know the economic circumstances and their implications for
the university as a whole and for you personally. I will continue to keep you informed as these circumstances evolve.
Please remember that many of the details will not be clear until the
Kansas Legislature makes decisions in April or May next year.
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