CFA’s response to Provost Feser’s Massmail

In a recent mass email, Provost Ed Feser informed units that he expects them to produce plans for either a 3, 5, or 7 percent cut in their budgets for FY17. CFA supports a proactive response to the current state fiscal crisis. We fully understand the necessity of budgetary measures that will no doubt include economic belt-tightening from all units. But we also believe that our campus budget planning is in need of profound structural reforms. Our budgetary decision-making process was developed in an age when we received a much greater percentage of our total revenue from the state than we do today. Forty years ago, the income from state revenue and tuition was more than sufficient to cover the operating needs of our university, and a top-down distribution model seemed to work to everyone’s satisfaction. In the new economic environment in which state revenues have dropped and tuition revenue has skyrocketed to cover the gap, the top-down model no longer works. We encourage the administration to act decisively to redesign the campus budget model and bring it into conformity with university financing best practices. We believe that while short-term cuts are certainly required, any serious cuts to our units and Colleges should only be made in light of a fully transparent and redesigned budget model.

— CFA President Bruce Rosenstock