Fiscal Year 2012 Budget
August 08, 2011
J. Keith Motley, PhD, UMass Boston Chancellor
As all of you know, our university has been regularly challenged over the last few fiscal years—as have all publicly funded entities—to do more with less. We have witnessed eroding public funding at all levels as a result of the national economic downturn. But we remain focused on our primary responsibility here at the University of Massachusetts Boston, which is to provide the highest quality of education for our students.
I want to express my gratitude to everyone from our campus community who has taken part in our fiscal year 2012 budget-development process. The resulting budget reflects our determination to maintain and enhance an environment for our faculty, students, and staff that is conducive to the highest levels of teaching, learning, and research. I am committed, along with each of you, to this objective.
You are all aware, I am sure, that further challenges lie in store for us. As we carry out our daily responsibilities, our patience will be tested in particular by the evolving construction here on campus—but the reward will be very great indeed. Our students will benefit immeasurably from the new academic buildings, and the vital activities they house, for many years to come.
Three major factors drive the budget this year:
- Continuing growth in the number of students, with a forecast of 16,111 for this fall
- Continuing decline in state financial support and increased reliance on university revenues
- Our strong commitment to use the strategic plan to determine priorities and spending
To balance our budget for the coming year, we have relied on tuition and fee increases and made significant funding reallocations with the university’s critical strategic goals in mind.
Our FY12 budget has several highlights.
- It provides $5.4 million in increased financial aid. (This additional aid will help offset the financial impact on some students of the 7.5 percent fee increase.)
- It provides $8.8 million for academic departments to support our strategic plan for academic program growth, including 36 faculty lines (20 to replace retiring or leaving faculty, and 16 for new faculty).
- It funds collective-bargaining-agreement obligations for our union workforce. In the past, these have been specifically funded by the legislature, but such funding was not provided for the current agreements.
I wish to make it clear that as difficult as this budget process has been, it has not stalled and will not stall the progress we are making toward achieving our strategic vision and implementing our master plan. We are in the beginning stages of a multi-year project that will revitalize our campus and enhance our academic offerings, and we have allocated significant resources to achieve the goals we have worked so hard to define and plan. The University of Massachusetts Boston will continue not only to grow and change but also to thrive in the midst of this process.
Over the coming weeks, our budget team will work with individual departments to provide specific information about their FY12 budgets and will assist them in crafting spending plans for the coming year.
In the next several days, more information about this year’s budget will be posted on the Office of Administration and Finance’s website. As always, I value your input and feedback and encourage you to email the UMass Boston budget team at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our online suggestion and question box.
It is our collective responsibility to manage our fiscal resources carefully while being mindful of the underlying values and choices expressed through our budget process. I thank all of you for your work, feedback, and support during this difficult budget season, and I look forward to our continued collaboration in overcoming our fiscal challenges.