Budget and planning update
Dear Roadrunner Faculty and Staff,
I am mindful of the importance of regular communication with all of you as we continue to navigate through uncharted waters. Thank you for your patience with an abundance of emails this spring and summer, as transparency is so critical to all our decisions.
I know that our FY21 budget process is very much on everyone’s minds, and I’d like to provide a few updates.
Recently we received notice that UTSA’s appropriation from the state will be permanently reduced by a total of 10% (5% in FY20 and 5% in FY21). Because FY20 ends on August 31, the majority of the reduction from our state appropriation must be absorbed by the FY21 budget. This cut is what we forecasted based on careful analysis and consultations with our legislators and UT System. Our 9/10% Phase I budgeted expense reductions remain on-target as we finalize our budget this month
Last week leadership from each academic college, vice provost and vice presidential division shared their preliminary FY21 budget plans with the leadership team. Each unit had very deliberative discussions around developing their budget plans. The conversations last week were very thoughtful and productive. Feedback and revisions are happening this week, with final budget plans due this Friday, June 5. Next week the budget recommendations will be forwarded for consideration by the University Leadership Council and Resource Management Team (RMT), and final decisions will be made by RMT in mid-June. Our budget is due to the Board of Regents in July.
Making budgeted expense reductions is never easy, but I have been thoroughly impressed with the ingenuity of every college dean, vice provost and vice president in rising to the task. They have taken great pains to prioritize our students’ academic progress and engage their constituencies in the development of their plans. Careful consideration was also given to minimizing personnel impact and reducing administrative costs. We are very fortunate to have such dedicated leadership at UTSA who are adept at looking for opportunities amidst challenging circumstances.
As mentioned in our earlier communications, the final outcome of this effort will involve limited reductions to our workforce, both in terms of eliminating positions and personnel layoffs. As with so many of our fellow higher education institutions, the magnitude of anticipated impact to our revenue will make these very difficult decisions necessary. I promise we will approach this process with a deep compassion for all individuals involved, and with a commitment to help those affected with transition and support services.
While we continue to position UTSA to weather the economic downturn, we are simultaneously focused on taking care of our students who are struggling financially and who will have increased financial need when they return to campus this fall. As designated by the federal government, the majority of UTSA’s CARES Act funds are going directly to student emergency grants and financial aid.
Our two tactical teams focused on the re-opening of our campuses this fall are working hard to develop their proposed plans, to be informed heavily by guidance from our Public Health Task Force. Soon we will have more information for you regarding timelines for faculty/staff returning to campus and parameters around meetings, events and more. You can expect to hear more from the tactical team chairs as their planning progresses this month.
I know you all are eagerly awaiting answers to many unanswered questions. Careful planning takes time, but I promise to share developments and updates with you as soon as they become available. Thank you, as always, for your patience and support.