It was great seeing many of you at the town hall meeting last week. I hope the information was helpful and thought provoking as we work toward multi-year budgeting. As I mentioned, the legislative session ended Friday. This morning I received the analysis of how UWF’s budget will be impacted for FY2010/2011. I have updated the information on the budget Web site in detail, located at: http://www.uwf.edu/president/budget/budgetinfo.cfm.
I am pleased to report that our base budget is only being slightly cut, a little less than 2 percent. However, after adding in the legislative tuition increase, non-recurring New Florida funds and non-recurring federal stimulus, our base is slightly up (3.53 percent) at a projected $93M. Additionally, employees will NOT suffer the much discussed 3 percent pay cut and employees also will NOT have to contribute to their retirement accounts. Further, retirees will still receive their health insurance subsidies. All of these things are very good news for UWF and the year ahead. I know you also will share my excitement for the funding received ($11.8M) for the new College of Business Building.
The budget will be transmitted to the Governor in the next couple of weeks. We will know the final results after his review and signature, which will likely be around Memorial Day.
Please keep in mind, however, that we must balance this good news with the forecast for 2011/2012 when federal stimulus will no longer be provided and the state’s cost to continue is expected to rise. Some forecasters are suggesting a $6 billion state deficit in 2011/2012. That is the reason we must plan beyond the confines of this budget year. We must be mindful of the future and plan for its realities. The good news is that our growth, tuition differential, and frugal budgeting strategies have and will continue to position us well.
Barring any substantial changes by the Governor, we can breathe a sigh of relief. We will not have cuts this year. I appreciate the Florida Legislature and the work it did to protect higher education in the state of Florida. I also want to say a special thank you to our Government Affairs Director Janice Gilley who did yeoman’s work in Tallahassee this year.