UW Trustees to receive budget reduction plan in November

(Oil City, file photo)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – According to a press release, the University of Wyoming administration will work to develop a $42.3 million biennial budget reduction plan for the Board of Trustees to consider at its November meeting, following action by the board

University officials say this step is being taken in accordance with UW Regulation 2-12, the trustees directed UW President Ed Seidel to develop a budget reduction plan to present to the board in 45 days. The action is necessary because of a 10 percent state funding reduction announced by Gov. Mark Gordon in late July in response to a dramatic downturn in state revenue.

“We have been preparing for this process since the summer, and we’ll now take the steps to develop a specific plan that achieves the necessary reductions while building a best-in-class 21st century land-grant university true to its Wyoming roots,” Seidel says. “We’re working to help lay the foundation for the new economy of the state. In order to do this well, UW needs to continue to develop deep and authentic partnerships with community colleges, communities, businesses and government organizations as we support the building of the workforce across the state.”

The release went on to say that in the days before he took office July 1, Seidel appointed a group of UW administrators and representatives of faculty, staff and students to prepare for budget reductions. The Budget Reduction Working Group (BRWG) has created multiple subgroups to contribute to the planning and execution of a budget reduction. Among the subgroup tasks: setting the stage for reviews of degree-granting units; dialogue with academic colleges; creation of a strategic priorities list; revenue enhancement; campus engagement; and development of a long-term vision for the university.

The BRWG plans to provide the president with preliminary spending reduction recommendations in mid-October, with final recommendations in late October. Seidel then will develop a budget reduction plan and present it to the board in early November, with the expectation that the board will act on the plan at its Nov. 11-13 meeting.

In developing its recommendations to the president, the BRWG plans to conduct a number of listening sessions with faculty and staff members in small groups. Additionally, the working group continues to accept input here on the Office of Academic Affairs website.

“Regulation 2-12 calls for the budget reduction plan to be prepared in consultation with the Faculty Senate, the Staff Senate and the Associated Students of UW, and we are committed to that involvement,” Seidel says. “The administration and board have some difficult decisions to make, and we’ll need input and information from across the university to do what’s best for the institution and the state.”

The BRWG is co-chaired by Interim Provost Anne Alexander and Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration Neil Theobald. Other members are College of Business Dean David Sprott; College of Engineering and Applied Science Interim Dean Cameron Wright; College of Health Sciences Dean David Jones; College of Law Dean Klint Alexander; Department of Music Head Scott Turpen; Vice President for Research and Economic Development Ed Synakowski; Vice President for Student Affairs Kim Chestnut; Director of Athletics Tom Burman; Faculty Senate Chair Rudi Michalak; Associated Students of UW President Riley Talamantes; and Staff Senate Chair James Wheeler. Other deans and members of the president’s cabinet are contributing to the planning.

For more information on the BRWG and budget-reduction process, go to www.uwyo.edu/acadaffairs/announcements/budget-reduction.html.