Thursday, June 22, 2017

Budget planning update from President Reyes

Budget planning update from President Reyes

(June 8, 2017) -- Dear Colleagues,

Last week, I shared news about the recently completed legislative session and how the budget proposal adopted by lawmakers would affect UTSA over the next two years.

UTSA will see a 1.7 percent formula funding increase for the next biennium, while special items funding will be reduced 34 percent and core research formula funding will decline 20 percent.

With this information in hand, UTSA’s executive leadership team has been working to prepare our FY 2017-18 (September 1, 2017-August 31, 2018) operating budget. I wanted to provide you with an update on that process.

First, I am pleased to let you know of our plan to grant a two percent merit increase to eligible employees, effective September 1. I said last week that one of our top priorities is retaining our exceptional faculty and staff with competitive salaries. This increase reflects our commitment to that priority.

In the days ahead, our Human Resources team will be providing department managers, supervisors and other institutional leaders with information on how the merit increase will be allocated.

Also, to address a $1.5 million reduction in the state’s allocation to our group health insurance, our leadership team has decided that UTSA will absorb the reduction without additional cost to employees.

However, to support these initiatives and respond to gaps left by the various reductions in state funding, we must take a very practical approach to managing our operating budget.

To that end, I will keep in place a hiring freeze through the end of FY 2017-18 with some limited exceptions such as public safety and instructional staff positions. Savings from our hiring freeze will be transferred into a central reserve at UTSA and will be applied to the merit increase and other operational needs.

Additionally, we will review all unexpended unrestricted funds for each unit within the university at the end of the current fiscal year and transfer 50 percent of those funds into the university’s central reserve to support critical needs and strategic projects that ensure student success.

While we are going to experience a tight budget next year, this is an opportunity for all of us to assess our operations, identify efficiencies and more clearly focus our limited resources on strategic priorities.

There will be challenges along the way but I am confident that, with your continued support, we will navigate this budget process and move forward well positioned to serve our students and support excellence by our faculty and staff.

Thank you for everything you do for UTSA. I value your continued input during this process and will keep you updated you as we finalize our FY 2017-18 budget.

Sincerely,

Pedro Reyes, Ph.D.
President Ad Interim


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