Legislative and Budget Update

June 24th, 2011 by Hyung Park

From: Sara Jayne Steen
Sent: Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Colleagues,

The New Hampshire legislature today passed the budget compromise approved in Committee of Conference and sent it to the Governor. This budget reduces the allocation to the University System of New Hampshire to 51.65% of its current rate for 2011-2012 and 54.65% for 2012-2013. According to USNH, the reduction makes this the lowest USNH appropriation since 1988, a generation ago. As you remember, our current allocation is approximately 13% of the PSU budget, so this cut will reduce that allocation by nearly half.

As a result, yesterday the USNH Board of Trustees approved an operating budget for PSU for next year that includes an additional increase in cost of attendance for in-state students of $710 beyond the increase announced in February. We will be notifying students and families, and we will provide additional financial aid for the most needy New Hampshire students and families as we move forward. In the past three years, PSU has increased undergraduate financial aid by 12%, 14%, and for next year 30%.

Thanks to the good work done by people across the campus, from Finance and Administration and the Planning, Budgeting Leadership Group to individuals who sent forward ideas, we have spent months productively planning for ways to deal with the anticipated reductions that will maintain academic quality, invest in initiatives that help PSU move forward as a regional comprehensive university in cost-effective ways, and put people first, students and employees.

These changes have not been simple, nor will their implementation be easy, but all of us have worked to make the best possible decisions. Some people are concerned about layoffs; we do not anticipate layoffs at this point. We are achieving position reductions by leaving some positions vacant and through the voluntary separation incentive plans (SIPs) and percentage reduction plan that you already have seen.

Over the next several days, you will be hearing from Steve Taksar, Vice President for Finance and Administration, about the specifics of next year’s budget and plans, including the non-personnel reductions that will affect divisions across the campus.

In the meantime, thank you for your support and involvement as we weather a difficult time. With your continued help, we will emerge a strong and well-focused university, continuing to provide students and employees with a wonderful place to live and learn.

Sara Jayne

Sara Jayne Steen
President
Plymouth State University
Plymouth, New Hampshire
USA 03264-1595
(603) 535-2210