Administration Updates Budget Situation

Posted: September 3, 2002 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

Editor’s note: This letter, written by President Alan Merten, Provost Peter Stearns, and Senior Vice President Maurice Scherrens, was also distributed to George Mason faculty and staff members via a University Announcement e-mail.

The news of the commonwealth’s deepening budget crisis has caused understandable concern on campus. We have been asked to prepare impact statements concerning additional 7, 11 or 15 percent cuts in the state’s portion of the university budget for the current and forthcoming fiscal years, to be submitted Sept. 20. These cuts would represent roughly $7 million, $11.5 million, or $15.5 million respectively. We are currently working hard on these budget statements, and will of course emphasize their harmful impact on essential operations in the university as well as indicating a few areas where greater efficiencies might be achieved.

We expect to learn what actual reduction we will face by mid-October, and will then complete actual budget plans with consideration of additional revenue opportunities as well as reductions. We will discuss plans widely. We will of course maintain core functions of the university.

This is a challenging period, and the uncertainties of the next six weeks or so will test our patience. Enrollments, student quality, and research funding are all at record highs, which reflects great credit on faculty and staff while providing solid hopes for the future. Despite some hardships to come, particularly in the current budget year, there is every reason to maintain the collaboration and innovative spirit that have moved George Mason steadily ahead.

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