Fort Hays State University > About FHSU > Executive Division > Bulletin 2-13-09
Feb. 13, 2009
In the last Budget Bulletin, issued on Jan. 14, I predicted
that the Legislature would enact cuts in the FY09 budget
somewhere between 4 percent and 5 percent. The House and
Senate approved a bill yesterday that would cut our current
budget by 4.25 percent, which translates to a reduction of
about $1.6 million. The bill now goes to Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.
As I told you earlier, we have sufficient funds -- originally
set aside for action plans --that we will use to cover this
$1.6 million rescission. So, there will be no impact on our
operations for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends
The challenge will come in managing a FY10 budget that will
have additional cuts beyond the FY09 cuts. The Legislature
now will begin working on the FY10 budget, although no decisions
are likely until late April or early May after new economic
projections have been issued.
Please continue to post your suggestions and questions on
Budget Watch, which can be found on the home page of the
FHSU Web site. You have provided many positive suggestions
that will be helpful as we develop our budget strategy for
Also, I invite all of you to another University Open Forum
next week in which I will provide a status report on budget
activities in Topeka and respond to any questions you may
have. The University Open Forum will be at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday,
In the meantime, here are answers to some of the questions
you have posted on the Budget Watch site.
Q. I am from out of town and a happy graduate of FHSU. Yesterday
someone who works in higher education (a competing institution)
asked if I had heard about the problems FHSU is having that
has caused them to have to cut summer college. Apparently,
this person said, these problems are related to the FHSU
distance China program and money spent there.
A. The truth is exactly the opposite of the rumor you heard.
Our partnerships in China are financially beneficial. The
budget problems are not unique to FHSU and actually resulted
because the Legislature has spent more than it took in for
the past two years.
Q. Why not invest in solar power, starting with fixing the
solar panels on Rarick Hall?
A. We are looking at both wind and solar. The deciding factor
on which ways to go will be careful cost-benefit analyses
of the various options.
Q. Is it true that the next cut is going to be Student Health?
A. We have made no final decisions yet on cuts in any services.
We are reviewing all services, and Student Health is being
studied both for summer and for next year, but no decisions
have been made.
Q. There is a lot of talk about how much it will save the
university to shut down on Fridays this summer. Is there
a dollar amount you can provide of those savings just to
give people an idea?
A. The change in the summer schedule to a 4-day workweek
could produce savings of $200,000 to $500,000, depending
on whether we establish 8-hour, 9-hour or 10-hour days. No
decision has been made yet.
Q. I am a student custodian in the residence halls, and
there is quite a bit of room for cuts in that department. … I
would also look at some of the student jobs and ask yourself
how efficient that is?
A. Student work positions also are being considered but no
decisions have been made.
Q. Please verify that each department can keep the excess
and it will not roll over to the general fund.
A. The answer is a resounding yes. Each department can keep
its excess, and it will not roll over into the general fund.
Q. With the upcoming budget cuts, will the Kansas Wetlands
Education Center still be able to open? I see that it was
scheduled to open in April of this year.
A. The Kansas Wetlands Education Center will open as scheduled
this spring. We get additional funds from the state to operate
the center, and those funds will be cut the same percentage
as other budgets.
Q. I noticed FHSU uses outside employees for parking cars
at FHSU basketball, football and other sporting events. Couldn't
we use FHSU employees, even if we had to restructure their
daytime hours, so we wouldn't be spending overtime?
A. That is an option that will be included in the review
of personnel everywhere on campus.
Q. This idea came from the Research Environment Committee
meeting this morning. To save costs on travel, to promote
being more "green" and to encourage research/development
during a budget crunch, the suggestion was to have the motor
pool, business office or department administrative assistants
post on a common Web site when travel will be happening across
campus as a means to share rides to the airport, across the
state, etc. In other words, a way to organize carpooling
and ride sharing.
A. This is a good suggestion and we're looking at it.
Q. Have you considered eliminating all salary increases?
A. There will be no raises next year at FHSU.
Q. I know that the university is going to a 4-day workweek
during the summer. I would like to strongly encourage the
administration to allow our classified staff to have the
option to work 10-hour days or to volunteer to work 8-hour
or 6-hour days.
A. We have not made a decision, but we will consider implementing
some sort of volunteer options.
Q. Would it save energy and money if the instructors would
turn off lights between classes if the next class period
is not being held right after the last one?
A. We would hope everyone is doing that now.
Q. Why not have campus "Adopt-A-Spots" for clubs,
groups or even for particular courses? Just as the numerous
state highway departments have implemented "Adopt-A-Mile" programs,
groups could complete applications through facility maintenance
or groundskeeping to adopt a particular spot, flower bed
or corner of campus grounds. The sponsoring organization,
group, club or class would be responsible for maintaining
their little plot of ground with perennials, annuals and
A. This is a great example of how we could do more with less.
We'll consider it.
Q. Will housing be available to students the summer of 2009?
A. We are eliminating many, but not all, on-campus classes
during the summer. Yes, student housing will be available
in the summer term.
Q. In a recent article in USA Today, a cost savings item
was a look at campus phones. In dormitories, landline telephones
were removed from each dorm room in an effort to conserve
costs. Additionally, the number of landline telephones in
various offices were reduced, utilizing cell phones for staff
members that would benefit from a mobile type of communication,
be it smart phone or basic cell service.
A. We put landline telephones in residence hall rooms only
if requested. We have been conducting a pilot program that
provides cell phones to staff members, and so far it has
not seemed to be cost effective.
Q. How much is Dr. Hammond cutting out of his budget?
A. My budget and the budgets of staff members who report
directly to me will be cut by the same percentage as all
other budgets.I hope to see all of you at the University Open Forum on
Feb. 18, 3:30 pm in the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center.
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