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Budget Challenges

June 22, 2011

Dear Campus Community:

I am writing today to provide you with the outcomes of the June 21 meeting of the Board of Trustees that impact our FY’12 budget. During that meeting, the Board voted to allow Keene to use its reserves and increase in-state tuition by $500 to offset an additional 25% reduction in state appropriation bringing the total appropriation reduction so far to 45%. Under the best case scenario of a 45% reduction in state appropriation, the College’s state appropriation will decrease by $5.9 million. The College has already acted to reduce its budget by 20% by eliminating 10 prospective positions within our Quality and Access Initiatives and reduced the number of course sections offered thus decreasing the number of overload sections and prospective adjunct faculty hires. In addition, the employee Separation Incentive Plan accommodated 10 staff with some vacancies held open. Five additional vacancies will be held open. Given the approval by the Board to use additional sources of revenue to withstand this significant reduction in the College’s appropriation, I anticipate an additional loss of 8 positions, of which only 4 are currently occupied to address the remainder of the 45% reduction; thus more than 23 positions will be held vacant or will be eliminated.

By July 1, affected personnel will be notified by his or her supervisor with additional notification provided to co-workers and colleagues as well. Reviews of these position eliminations has been on-going in cooperation with Human Resources to assure that the elimination meets the criteria which have been determined and approved by the Cabinet and me. The criteria for eliminating filled positions have been discussed by the Cabinet and me and have been vetted before the Staff Councils. Remember, hiring for any necessary positions will first consider internal employees who have suitable qualifications. Employees whose positions are being eliminated will be provided with a 90-day notice consistent with USNH policy (see

Additional Appropriation Reduction: On Thursday, June 16, 2011, the Committee of Conference which mediates differences between the House and Senate’s appropriation proposals approved USNH appropriations of $51,650,000 in FY’12 and $54,650,000 in FY’13. If the full legislature votes to approve this proposal, this is an additional appropriation shortfall for USNH of $3.4M for FY’12; the impact on KSC would be a cut of $453,000. At the June 21 meeting, the Board has determined that this additional reduction must be addressed by a tuition increase for in-state students, holding the total cost of attendance increase of in-state students only to 9.7%. The timelines are short and the personnel reductions already made to achieve this funding level are significant. For this reason, no further position reductions result from this extra appropriation reduction.

I particularly thank Vice President of Finance and Planning Jay Kahn, Associate Vice President Karen House, Finance and Budget Analyst Melissa Laughner, Assistant Director John Halter, Business Services Assistant Sue Freitas and Director of Human Resources Kim Harkness for their extraordinary work to bring together the college-wide contributions to the reductions and development of multiple models considering every strategy posed throughout this period and their impact on policy. They worked around the clock, unseen and unheralded for their efforts. They enabled me to bring clear messages to internal and external constituencies about our plans to address the budget shortfall and the implications of these strategies and for this I am grateful. I am also appreciative of each Principal Administrator and their staff councils for their work to enable reductions in their areas. Finally, I thank the entire campus community, especially the Operating and PAT Staff Councils, for your patience and contributions to this process throughout the year as we have addressed one of the most severe proportional appropriation reductions that a higher education system has faced within one year.


Helen Helen F. Giles-Gee

Keene State has set up this page to share information about the financial challenges facing the College and to ask for ideas and input from the whole campus community. More resources, documents, and interactive features will be posted as the situation develops, so please check back.

  1. Offer Your Ideas: KSC Budget and Resource Council seeks cost containment suggestions and comments
  2. President Giles-Gee’s report to the campus, November 25, 2008 (pdf)
  3. How the College Manages Its Money:
    • Finance and Planning
    • KSC Planning Council
    • Operating Budget
  4. Resources on the Economy and Its Impact on Higher Education


+ Budget Challenges

+ Information Timeline

+ External Resources

+ Budget Suggestion Box

Generating Savings and Gaining Efficiency (PDF)

Adding Value for Students and the State (PDF)


In-state Tutition

State Budget

FY 2012 -2013 State Appropriations

State of the College – Helen F. Giles-Gee

FY 11 Budget Update from President Giles-Gee

Budget Update from President Giles-Gee

Message to Students Regarding Course Registration

NH Supreme Court Ruling on Medical Malpractice Fund Surplus

Open Budget Forum, October 30, 2009

Budget Update from President Giles-Gee

Budget Update from President Giles-Gee

Budget Update from President Giles-Gee

Budget Update from President Giles-Gee

Budget Update from President Giles-Gee

USNH House Finance Committee FY2010-11 Operating Budget Hearing

President Giles-Gee Speaks to Campus about Current Budget Challenges Video

Campus Budget Overview

President Giles-Gee Calls Campus Budget Discussion


Updated: February 20, 2012 KSC Photos on SmugMug Subscribe to the KSC RSS news feed Keene State on Facebook Keene State on Twitter Keene State on YouTube

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