FY11 budget approved
I want to thank the university community – and particularly faculty and staff – for your patience and understanding during this year’s budget planning process. Our budget team literally worked overtime to craft a responsible spending plan for fiscal year 2011 that advances our strategic initiatives, supports our academic objectives, and protects our operational core as we continue to build the student-centered urban public research university of the 21st century. I am pleased to report today that I have approved an FY11 operating budget that accomplishes these goals.
This year’s budget planning process was among the most difficult in recent years because of the uncertainty surrounding state funding. Although the state budget was approved during the summer, we purposefully delayed finalizing our budget until we had a clearer picture of the level of federal stimulus funding Massachusetts would receive for public higher education. Indeed, a late approval of additional stimulus money enabled us to avoid making some painful cuts and to fund additional needs.
I am pleased that the university’s budget team, vice chancellors, and deans collaborated to develop a balanced budget that avoids major program reductions, layoffs, and furloughs. Equally important is that our new spending plan continues to invest in building a stronger academic institution. The $19 million in new investments include, among others, adding 26 new tenure-system faculty lines, increasing our commitment to financial aid, moving forward on our master plan and facilities improvement projects, and creating a rainy-day fund for unexpected financial commitments or funding shortfalls. For additional information about the FY11 budget, I encourage you to visit the Budget Office’s website.
While we have charted our financial course for this fiscal year, we know that we may face even greater challenges in the coming years. The infusion of federal stimulus money over the past two years has greatly eased the effects of state funding cuts. It is highly unlikely, however, that additional federal stimulus resources will be available moving forward or that we will see state funding restored to previous levels. For this reason, one of our priorities as we develop our strategic plan for the next five years is to explore and develop new revenue sources and funding models that provide the university with greater financial stability.
Despite this uncertain outlook, we have much to be proud of and much to be excited about here at the University of Massachusetts Boston. And I know that, working together, we will achieve what we set out to accomplish.