E-mail message to the
January 25, 2003
Update on status of state budget
Recently, I sent a budget update to campus (http://www.uwgb.edu/chancellor/remarks/email3.htm).
In it, I reported on the status of two anticipated budget challenges: one involving
a shortfall for the year we are currently in, the other involving budget for
the next biennium. In both cases, I noted that we had not yet received even
a hint of what the budget numbers would be for UW System and, hence, for UWGB.
We received one of those numbers late yesterday.
The UW System has been directed by the Governor to "lapse"
$7M of the GPR funds previously allocated to and budgeted by the System. Our
share of that lapse is $162,000.
One of the challenges with lapses is that they come well into
the fiscal year for which the funds being taken have been already allocated;
most all the dollars have not only been budgeted but have also either been spent
or contractually committed. We had expected a lapse, though, and have maintained
flexibility to cover a lapse of the magnitude that has now been communicated.
This was done by not providing authorization to various units to not expend
the reserves they are required to maintain.
We will be seeking more details on just what "strings"
are attached to the relapse -- e.g., are there certain types of expenditures
which are "protected." There seems to be some confusion on that point
right now. And, I want to emphasize that having reserves to cover the relapse
does not mean that there is no pain. Those reserves are always used each year
to cover expenditures important to the functioning of the university -- for
example, equipment replacement including computers on our desks and in our labs.
There are things -- $162,000 worth of "things" -- planned for and
that will not be happening. That will hurt. We are awaiting more guidance on
Monday before figuring out just what the impacts will be. But, consistent with
my commitment to make sure you learn what is going on as soon as we do -- and
before it appears in the newspapers -- I did want to share what we now know.
When it comes to the budget for the next biennium, we still
expect that UW System impacts will be announced by the Governor in mid-February.
In the interim, we will continue to prepare as outlined in my earlier message,
including focusing our budget process on the "95% budget exercise"
that the State System has directed all campuses to engage in.
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