DURHAM, N.H. - University of New Hampshire officials last week submitted a balanced Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 budget to the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees. FY10 begins July 1, 2009.
Bringing the budget into balance required reducing expenses by $8.3 million. Of the $8.3 million, $4.4 million will be saved by reducing operating and support expenses, including travel, printing and mail, business meals, membership dues, subscriptions and energy costs. A salary freeze for non-unionized employees earning more than $40,000 will yield $1.3 million. The final $2.6 million will be realized by not filling 27 faculty and staff positions, reducing 40 staff positions from full- to part-time, and implementing a reduction in force for seven staff positions.
In a budget update to the campus community, President Mark W. Huddleston wrote, "The personnel actions are particularly painful. While we have known that UNH is not immune to the economic forces that are buffeting all institutions, we promised that the sort of layoffs and other reductions now common at other colleges and universities would be at the far end of steps we would contemplate. Unfortunately, in some of our units, that far end has been reached."
UNH provided 90 days notice, rather than the 30 days normally provided for any affected operating staff, given the current economic circumstances.
The university also is providing outplacement guidance and other assistance for the seven displaced staff members, including consideration for other UNH positions.
There are still many uncertainties on the horizon, and further reductions in expenses may need to be made. While the governor has recommended flat funding for USNH (which includes one-time Federal Stimulus funds), it is not known if the legislature will accept his proposal. Although fall enrollment has thus far exceeded initial projections, the total financial aid cost is still unknown. Other uncertainties include enrollment attrition rates, or how many new or continuing students the campus will lose over the summer, and the cost of settling the current contract negotiations for UNH faculty and UNH police officers. Finally, the USNH Board of Trustees does not vote until late June on tuition increases, so UNH officials cannot fully project tuition revenue.
"Although these are not easy times at UNH, I continue to believe it is important to tell you what we know, as we know it," Huddleston wrote in his budget communication. He made a commitment in January to share budget news with the community on a regular basis.