CONTACT: STEVE PARROTT
101 Jessup Hall
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 335-0552; fax (319) 335-0558
Release: March 5, 2002
Coleman explains how UI will deal with latest budget cut
Members of the University Community:
you are no doubt aware, the State of Iowa continues to suffer significant
budget difficulties. Faced with a deficit of $121 million in the current fiscal
year, last week Governor Vilsack and the General Assembly agreed to take $44
million from the state's "rainy day" fund to cover a portion of
the shortfall. To cover the rest of the shortfall, appropriations to state
agencies, including the Regents universities, will be reduced.
For The University of Iowa, this means we will have to cut $4.98 million
from our budgets in the remaining four months of FY02, including nearly $4.13
million from our General Education Fund. As you may recall, this comes on
top of two other budget reductions to our state appropriations for FY02. With
this additional cut, our state appropriations for this fiscal year will have
been reduced by more than $37 million.
In consultation with the vice presidents and other University leaders, we
have agreed on some general principles that will guide how we make these cuts
in our budgets. They are as follows:
* We will not implement the furlough plan proposed in the Legislature. That
plan would have required employees whose salaries are supported by state appropriations
to take a day off without pay each month for the next 16 months. Fortunately,
the Governor and legislators allowed us to find other ways to make budget
cuts without imposing this inequitable plan.
* We will keep as many of our people working as possible and will not use
layoffs unless absolutely necessary. Instead, we will make maximum use of
attrition. We have already used this mechanism to eliminate 165 jobs.
* We will maintain the high quality of our academic programs by asking administrative
units to again shoulder a larger burden of the budget reduction than academic
units. Budget cuts assigned to administrative units will be 45 percent higher
than cuts assigned to academic units.
* We will not reduce our student financial aid budget. This will help insure
that all qualified students have access to a University of Iowa education.
* We will not cut our library acquisition funds. This will help insure that
our students, faculty and staff will have as much access as possible to the
tools they need to learn.
Unfortunately, the outlook for state revenues for the next fiscal year points
to the need for further austerity measures. With that in mind, I am continuing
to look for ways to manage our university in the most efficient way possible.
To that end, I am today permanently eliminating the position of the Vice President
for External Relations. As you may recall, for the past 20 months, Vice President
for Research David Skorton has been serving as the interim Vice President
for External Relations. With this change, his position will be renamed the
Vice President for Research and External Relations. A number of senior leaders
in his office will join Dr. Skorton in assuming additional duties. They are
Bill Decker, associate vice president for research; David Wynes, assistant
vice president for research; Mary Schott, assistant to the vice president;
Steve Parrott, director of University Relations; and Linda Kettner and Lesanne
Fliehler, assistant directors of University Relations. These individuals and
many other excellent staff in the research and external relations units will
work with our faculty, staff, and students to keep these critical aspects
of our operations moving along smoothly and well.
I will keep you informed as we develop the details of our plans for addressing
this latest FY02 budget reduction as well as our plans for FY03. Working together,
we will find ways to maintain the quality of our educational enterprise and
to weather these challenging times.
Thank you for your support, counsel and help.
Mary Sue Coleman