To NC State Faculty, Staff, and Students:
As many of you know, this summer the North Carolina General Assembly passed a budget for the next two fiscal years which was then signed by the governor. The budget directly affects the UNC System and NC State, so I want to let you know where we stand.
Our share of the cut to the UNC System is just over $21 million, which is about a 4.5 percent cut to our appropriated budget. We have asked everyone to try to cut 5 percent, which would allow us to support our top priorities.
Obviously we want to protect our academic side as much as possible, so we asked the non-academic units to share a bigger proportion of the load. In the end, it worked out to be around $2 million that we will shift from non-academic to academic needs. That will help protect our core mission.
In the context of the last ten years, NC State’s state appropriated budget has been reduced by over $275 million, of which approximately $163 million was recurring.
While we always look for ways to continually improve, we are operating efficiently and there are no simple measures to absorb the recent round of cuts. Beyond asking everyone to do more with less, we cannot sustain a cut of this magnitude without reducing resources and without losing people.
While the reduction to support and administrative units was larger than that of instructional units, faculty and staff positions will be cut. The majority of these cuts will be vacant positions that will go unfilled, but this still impacts all of our work across campus – from a reduction in the number of graduate assistantships to a reduction in our capacity for research and teaching and administrative support.
This is not the first time that we have faced economic challenges, and, we will make it through as we have in the past. Fortunately, we are two years into a strong strategic plan. It has helped us in making tough priority decisions on where to put our resources.
Now it is time to do it again. Rather than approach budgeting on a yearly basis, we need to address it in 5-10 year increments using big ideas that take a university-wide view. We have set up a web site to collect those big ideas from the university community. http://go.ncsu.edu/ideas. I am looking forward to your suggestions that will help us align our resources according to our priorities. That in turn will allow us to be more effective in addressing the goals of the Strategic Plan.
In the coming years, we will have to be extremely diligent about finding new opportunities and resources. We will focus on maintaining our standards and moving our strategy forward.
We have already started by putting some great things in place that are changing this university for the long term. The Faculty Excellence Program is a great example. We will continue pushing forward and I can assure you that we will be maintaining our momentum and won’t let these challenges distract or deter us from our goals.