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Release: Oct. 9, 2001

UI President Coleman announces principles to guide budget cuts

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- University of Iowa President Mary Sue Coleman today announced a set of principles she said will guide the UI as it develops plans to deal with a potential cut of $21.9 million from the current year’s operating budget as recommended by the governor.

“These principles have been developed and articulated to protect the core missions of the University of Iowa as best we can, given the magnitude of the proposed deappropriation,” Coleman said. “They have been drawn up after close consultation with the vice presidents, the deans, and faculty and staff leadership.

“These principles will guide the difficult decisions regarding deappropriations from units that are funded through the General Education Fund, which received $253 million in state appropriations this fiscal year,” Coleman said. “Deappropriations from units and programs such as the Oakdale Campus, the Psychiatric Hospital, and the Indigent Patient Care Program that receive separate direct line item appropriations from the legislature will reflect the seven percent cuts proposed by Governor Vilsack if they are enacted by the legislature.”

On September 20, Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack issued a news release in which he proposed a $108 million reduction in state spending for the current fiscal year, which began on July 1. Of that $108 million, $47 million was to be reduced from the state universities. Of the $47 million total, $21.9 million was to come from the University of Iowa.

Principles for Addressing FY-2002
General Education Fund Budget Reductions

1. The 2000-2005 University of Iowa strategic plan and core values will provide the framework for developing the university’s response to the proposed deappropriations from the state. The focus should be on preserving academic strength and supporting the most vital missions of the university.

2. The president and university administrators will seek input from faculty, staff and student leaders on budget reductions and the allocation of reductions across units as well as in identifying potential cost savings.

  • Communication with internal and external constituencies by the president, UI administrators and collegiate administrators will be timely and on-going.

3. Vice presidents and deans must assure that all faculty and staff contribute to meeting the objectives of these principles.

4. Budget reduction strategies must protect the university’s ability to recruit and retain students and to meet four-year graduation plan obligations.

5. Budgeted financial aid will not be diminished.

6. Essential support to research programs and research support units will be maintained at a level that does not unduly jeopardize critical scholarly programs and the continuation or growth of external funding.

7. The allocation to resource pools such as building repair, equipment and classroom improvements will be scrutinized to determine where deferrals can occur or where investments must be continued, consistent with our stewardship responsibilities.

8. Vice presidents, deans and unit directors will be given flexibility in achieving savings within a framework that includes these principles:

  • Budget reductions must achieve net savings to the General Education Fund.

  • Decisions about cost reductions must always consider the impact on revenue generation.

  • Budget reductions must produce required savings in FY2002, and savings must be sustainable or alternative reductions made in FY2003.

  • Units should review existing programs in light of university, collegiate and departmental missions and goals, including the university’s diversity goals. Based upon centrality and quality, selected programs should be subject to increased reductions or elimination.

  • Units should explore enhanced efficiencies, including consolidation of programs and services within and across units.

  • Vice presidents and deans should maximize savings from current and upcoming position vacancies by scrutinizing the filling of every General Education Fund-supported position.

  • Temporary and permanent layoffs will be utilized to the degree necessary with all unit layoff plans, temporary or permanent, reviewed in advance by university administration and authorized before proceeding.