Feb. 11, 2009
UI launches Web site to inform campus about budget, solicit ideas
The University of Iowa has created a Web site to provide faculty, staff and students with updates about ongoing budget deliberations and announcements, and to solicit ideas for trimming expenses, as the university works to reduce costs during uncertain economic times.
In announcing the site - http://budget.uiowa.edu -- to the campus community on Wednesday, UI President Sally Mason said that protecting the university's core academic mission, especially providing a high-quality student academic experience, is the university's highest priority.
"As Provost Wallace Loh shared with the campus recently, the decisions we will make in the months and years ahead will require creative change at the UI," Mason said in a mass email. "We will take a calm, thoughtful approach to managing the budget to implement those changes."
Mason admitted that making those decisions will be challenging, not just for the university's administration, but for everyone on campus, especially as the campus continues to recover from the flood of 2008.
"The current economy has forced everyone -- individuals, businesses, and other institutions both public and private -- to confront major financial challenges," Mason said. "The State of Iowa is no different, and budget cuts to our public universities have already occurred, will occur into the next fiscal year, and may well continue to occur beyond that."
Mason said that a shortfall in anticipated tax receipts for 2008-09 has resulted in a $7.5 million cut in state appropriations to the UI for the current fiscal year and that next year's tax receipts are expected to be even lower. Based on current projections, Iowa Gov. Chet Culver has proposed a budget for 2009-10 that would cut almost all state appropriations by an additional 6.5 percent.
"That would translate into a $17.5 million budget reduction for this institution on top of our current (and already reduced) budget," Mason said. "Meanwhile, the costs associated with operating a large Big 10 research university continue to rise, making this difficult time even more challenging."
Mason thanked the campus community for its patience, cooperation and dedication as it faces the fiscal challenges ahead.
"Last year's flood showed that the University of Iowa community is creative and energetic, and we will use those assets to make sure our institution remains a remarkable institution worthy of Iowans' pride," she said.
STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500
MEDIA CONTACT: Steve Parrott, 319-335-0552 (office), 319-530-6972 (cell), or firstname.lastname@example.org; Writer: Stephen J. Pradarelli, University News Services.