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Budget & Planning

March 9, 2004 Letter from Provost Wanat

Dear Colleagues,

We have received a wide range of proposals totaling in requests for one-time investments of 2003-04 funds. The ambitious list totaled $8.9 million! Fortunately we may be able to fund about $4 million this year and cover some of the remaining requests next year. You may wish to view the submitted proposals at the following intranet URL:

Clicking on the headings where the schools, colleges, and divisions are listed will transfer you to the actual documents that were submitted.

As I review these proposals, I am taking into account several factors and criteria. These prioritized proposals represent planning that has taken place over the past several months, and in some cases years, in response to campus strategic goals at the level of the schools, colleges, and divisions. They represent what the schools, colleges, and divisions value. To the extent possible I am trying to respect the unit’s priorities in my decisions . In my review I have also requested and received the counsel of the leadership of the graduate school regarding proposals furthering our research agenda, the leadership of I&MT regarding proposals advancing our classroom and other technologies, and our space planning and physical plant leadership regarding renovation projects.

The leading criterion I will employ in deciding what to fund is the extent to which proposed activities or purchases contribute to our strategic goals, such as improving undergraduate and graduate education, increasing research, enhancing the physical infrastructure, improving student satisfaction, etc. But there are some constraints. We must, for example, be sure that funded projects and purchases must take place in this year with 2003-04 funds. Thus, proposals that have multiyear or recurring commitments do not fit the criteria for funding. In addition, I am taking into account, in some cases, projected carry-forward balances of the unit, not in a punitive way but rather to assure that we’ll end this fiscal year with a minimal carry forward balance as an institution, and that we use our resources wisely in furthering our campus goals.

I will post the list of funded proposals early next week on the Academic Affairs website. I hope to present my decisions to the Academic Deans Council on Tuesday, March 16 and the APBC on Thursday, the 18th. We will continue to monitor our cash position over the next couple of months. If additional funds become available, we move quickly to honor requests not currently on the list of funded proposals.

Thanks for your collaboration in identifying and proposing ways that we can productively spend the one-time money we have garnered. I’ll be back to you with the results and the more detailed reasons for the allocations next week. In the meantime, you might want to see the wide range of proposals that emerged.