The budget work group continued its work on Friday afternoon, April 4. The beginning of the FY15 budget process started with an estimated $14 million deficit in the operating budget. Through efforts of the budget team and the budget work group, and initial work by some areas of administration, the deficit was reduced to $7.7 million. This was accomplished by cancelling some vacant positions, utilizing revenue items generated in the prior year such as investment income and summer overhead share, as well as “scrubbing” the placeholder pay increase. Budget units then submitted their FY 15 budget requests, where they identified positions to cancel or freeze, budgets to reduce or sources of funds to contribute to the deficit. These efforts provided approximately $2.4 million, bringing the deficit to $5.2 million.
During the April 4 meeting, the budget work group members discussed the work that had been done to date. It was shared that although the operating budget deficit had been reduced, only a portion of this was accomplished through base reductions, which meant that if additional base source or use changes are not made as we move forward in our 20/20 planning, we would be starting the FY16 budget planning with a base operating deficit. They also discussed ways that the budget units could identify additional items to contribute to the FY 15 operating deficit and institutional-level decisions that could be made that would get to the balanced operating budget that must be presented to the Board of Governors at its next meeting on April 23. A list of potential sources of sources or use reduction were identified that could provide an estimated $3.8 million towards the operating budget leaving a deficit of $1.4 million.
The budget team said they would work over the weekend to further “scrub” the submitted budgets and summarize the sources identified during the meeting. The budget work group then agreed to reconvene on Monday morning, April 7, to review the new budget summaries and provide additional feedback. The budget team made any needed adjustments and then sent out to each budget unit their draft budget file, which has been scrubbed for errors, fringe benefit adjustments and other clean-up items the budget team identified. Along with their file, each budget unit received information about changes and questions or comments regarding their submission, as well as guidance on additional changes they should consider that would contribute to reducing the operating deficit. Any proposed adjustments would need to be submitted by close of business on Wednesday, April 9, in order to be included for the final draft of the budget which will be shared with the budget work group at their meeting scheduled for Friday, April 11. A final proposed budget is anticipated to be sent to the Board of Governors early next week.