Friday, December 8, 2023

University provides update on evaluation of fiscal guidelines

University provides update on evaluation of fiscal guidelines

APRIL 20, 2020Editor’s note: The following message was sent via email today from Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President for Business Affairs Veronica Salazar Mendez to all faculty and staff: 

As our campus community continues to operate and deliver instruction remotely, we have accomplished much of which to be proud. We will continue to draw strength from our collective resilience in the months ahead.

Now that all summer terms will be delivered online, we must prepare for the economic reality that the pandemic will have an impact on our financial future. We are evaluating various models to plan for potential financial implications and to help guide our decision-making as we navigate through the months ahead. To best position UTSA for a sound financial future, we are taking a proactive approach to managing our current resources. Taking action now will help prepare UTSA to handle any revenue fluctuations in the months to come.

As the university’s chief financial officer, I ask every unit to undertake cost-saving measures to sustain our campus priorities, protect as many jobs as possible and continue to uphold the university’s core educational mission to advance student success and research excellence. These proactive measures will include spending limits, restrictions on expenditures, and more. All expenditures should be limited to those that are critical and essential to maintaining our current level of operations.

The university’s operating reserves have contributed to UTSA’s good financial standing. You have often heard me state that UTSA would count on these balances to continue operations in the case of an emergency. The economic impacts related to the pandemic are still unfolding. To ensure that we are able to maintain our workforce and operations, the institution must secure and access all operating reserves to meet our institutional financial obligations to complete the year in a sound financial position.

Later today, the office of Budget and Financial Planning will provide details of the actions I am asking every unit to take, including the spending limits we are enacting, and the expectations for your operating reserves that will enable us as an institution to weather what lies ahead.

As you know, in March the university enacted a hiring suspension for all staff positions. Beginning today, recruitment activities for all new staff and faculty will be paused until further notice, with the exception of the following: 

  • Positions critical to the health and safety of the campus community and campus assets, such as public safety, health services and custodial staff.

  • Positions required to enable remote instruction and student success, or to support changes in research modalities that can be integrated into best practices after the crisis passes.

  • Positions nearing conclusion in their searches or for which offers have been extended, and remote work is possible.

  • Positions that are funded 100% from externally sponsored sources. This would include students hired using federal and other institutional sources set aside for employment of student workers.

Please refrain from submitting new requests to Human Resources for reclassifications, equity adjustments or stipends. Vacant positions will not be filled, unless the position is funded by external sponsors. Requests for new permanent positions will require approval from your divisional Vice President, with final approval by the Resource Management Team based on the above criteria.

We understand that these adjustments will be challenging. By taking action now, we will position UTSA to move forward as our city, state, and nation recover. The university will continue to monitor fiscal guidelines and practices, and I will provide updates as needed and as information becomes available.

Your ongoing understanding and dedication to UTSA is invaluable. Thank you for all you do.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.

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The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to promoting access for all. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.