February 11, 2019
Dear Campus Community,
We are seven months into our new strategic plan, Imagine 2023, and many of our accomplishments have us well on our way to achieving our goals. I continue to be impressed by the amazing work done across campus embracing the spirit of our core values. There is much to be proud of, but we have challenges ahead. I am confident we will meet these challenges head-on in order to ensure our status as a premier land-grant university and continue to make a bold impact on our students and the citizens of South Dakota.
As you are probably aware, this past fall we had an un-budgeted enrollment drop of more than 400 students. This resulted in decreased revenue to the university of $3.8 million or 3.6 percent. We are currently implementing strategies aimed at revenue enhancements and increased efficiencies to address the resulting FY19 (July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019) budget deficit. However, as we develop the FY20 (July 1, 2019 - June 30, 2020) budget, financial adjustments will also need to be made. In addition, to allow time to gather input and provide feedback, in the upcoming months we will be taking the following steps:
- Each vice president, dean, and direct report of the president’s office has been asked to develop 2 percent, 3.5 percent, and 5 percent base budget adjustment scenarios for their units. We will not implement across the board reductions. Based on the following guidelines, some units may have larger reductions than others:
- Our ability to remain a premier land-grant university and uphold our core-values;
- Creating and maintaining efficiencies in our business processes and ability to teach, learn, and conduct research; and
- Recognizing the value of leadership at all levels of the organization and understanding the ability of our employees to do great things.
- In late February/early March, each vice president and dean will present the details of their budget adjustment scenarios to the president, provost, and the vice president for administration and finance.
- During March, senior leadership will work through details with each vice president and dean in preparation of their unit’s budget recommendation.
- In April, each vice president, dean and president’s office direct report, will present a summary of his or her unit, including their budget recommendation, to the University Budget Oversight Committee (UBOC) during the annual reporting process. I will then receive a recommendation from UBOC, consult with the Faculty Budget Committee, and then decide on what strategic budget adjustments will be made and how they will be implemented to develop a balanced budget; and,
- In late April/early May, each vice president and dean, along with Rob Kohrman, vice president for administration and finance, will present the overall FY20 budget to each college and division or unit.
While this will require heavy lifting and sacrifices by all of us, we must ensure the university is in a sound financial position. It is of utmost importance that we develop a FY20 budget that is balanced, reflects our core values, and aligns with the strategic priorities of Imagine 2023.
As always, I am committed to open communication. Therefore, while many of the processes outlined above reflect some of the administrative steps required to develop a budget, there will be other communications to gain feedback from all constituents, including:
- University leadership, including the vice president for finance and administration, will continue to meet regularly with university shared governance groups to seek feedback and provide budget updates; and
- I, along with my senior leadership team, will meet with the various administrative groups, as we did with the colleges in the fall, to discuss the accomplishments and challenges the university faces.
I am confident we will collectively meet the challenges ahead. I want to encourage each of us to think about our daily responsibilities and roles. What can we, as individuals and as teams, do to positively impact our enrollment and make the most of one another’s strengths, creativity, and diversity to achieve excellence? South Dakota State University is in the business of creating the future for students, each other, our state, region, nation, and the world. Each of us plays a critical role in this noble work.
As always, I welcome your input, ideas and feedback. If you have questions or comments pertaining to the budget process, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the near future, additional information about this process, as well as other related information, will be available at https://www.sdstate.edu/office-president/fy20-budget.
With optimism for the future,
President Barry H. Dunn