Monday, January 5, 2009
Legislature Special Session
Faculty and Staff,
As you are probably aware, the Legislature is meeting in special session this week and next to cut the current year budget by approximately $2.3 billion. This is necessary due to the ongoing financial difficulties the state is experiencing as a result of the lingering national recession. While I can't say at this point what the impact of these cuts will be on UWF and the State University System (SUS), we can take some measure of comfort from Gov. Crist's proposals on how the Legislature should deal with this situation. His plan calls on the Legislature to cut university operating budgets by 2.1 percent, a figure below what we have planned for. It is important to note that the Legislature has yet to fully weigh in with its own plans on how to meet the needed reductions, and today both the House and Senate started their negotiations with a 4 percent reduction in the SUS budget (the same 4 percent that is currently being held back). We have communicated to our legislators the importance of minimizing cuts to the university system, and we are hopeful a number closer to the Governor's proposal will carry the day. Also, we must bear in mind that these current year reductions may not be the last; early figures for the 2009-10 budget indicate the potential for further reductions starting with the new fiscal year which begins July 1.
I will fully brief you on the outcome of the special session when it has been completed. In the meantime, I thank you for your continued commitment to UWF.