Budget Reduction Planning Update
As many of you know, President Barack Obama signed an economic stimulus package this week that is expected to infuse as much as $12 billion into the state of Florida over the next three years.
It is unclear at this point how the stimulus funds will change the budget situation for higher education throughout the state, and more specifically, the University of Florida. We are still evaluating the stimulus plan and it may be several weeks before we have an idea of its impact on our state appropriations.
For that reason, I believe we need to take a little extra time in our development of budget reduction plans universitywide. Last month, I asked the deans and administrators to begin discussions with their faculty and staff to identify cuts of up to 10 percent of their area’s recurring budgets.
This plan continues except, instead of forwarding the plans to the administration by March 4, the new date for submission is April l. This will allow an anticipated public announcement of all the plans on April 15.
In the meantime, the university may be eligible to receive some funds from the stimulus package earmarked for the renovation and remodeling of existing facilities. We have forwarded to the state Board of Governors a list of more than $400 million in remodeling projects, some of which will help improve the energy efficiency of our buildings. We anticipate these upgrades would produce sizable, long-term savings through lower utility bills.
I want you to know I am committed to working with the state and educational leaders to lessen the cuts facing the university for the upcoming 2009-10 fiscal year.