President Calls Campus Budget Discussion
Dear Members of the Keene State College Community:
In late November, I wrote to inform you of the impact of the current economic crisis on higher education in New Hampshire. At that time, institutions comprising the University System of New Hampshire, including Keene State College, had been asked to return $7 million to the state.
On Friday, January 30, 2009 at 3 pm in the Redfern Alumni Recital Hall, I will host an all-campus discussion on the budget. At this meeting, I will share the thoughts of Cabinet, and will ask that members of the campus community share their thoughts as well as we work together to meet this challenge.
Economic uncertainty continues, and all indications are that the recession will continue to deepen for an unknown period of time across the nation and the state. This recession differs from others that have occurred in prior decades in the number of factors that are affecting the economy. Higher education institutions of every type have been impacted. Given the probability of a longer-term recession, we need to prepare ourselves now for the possibility of future State requests to return funds or reduce appropriations.
Given this difficult scenario and the need for us to work together to weather this storm in a transparent and effective manner, I am asking the campus community to work with me, the Provost and Vice Presidents, and the Budget and Resource Council to determine ways to address State funding shortfalls.
For the short term, a few operational changes will be made right away:
During job searches, I ask you to limit campus interviews initially to two finalists so as to minimize costs. Associated costs of searches will be carefully monitored and contained as much as possible.
Rather than consider freezes or furloughs, the Cabinet will evaluate the hiring of positions on a case-by-case basis.
Events which rely on institutional funding may see an impact, with lessened budgets for food and other associated costs as determined by the respective Principal Administrator (PA).
The Budget and Resource Council will be issuing a letter to campus to solicit ideas for cost containment. I ask you to work with them to consider possibilities within your own departments, and share ideas outside of yours as well. Your honest and innovative ideas are warmly welcomed; they will be thoughtfully considered.
You have my assurance that despite the current economic situation, we will do our best not to compromise the quality of our programs nor lose ground with the outstanding progress toward fulfilling our goal of excellence at Keene State College.
Helen F. Giles-Gee