DATE: August 14, 2020
TO: NMSU-Las Cruces Deans and Vice Presidents
FROM: John Floros, President
SUBJECT: Response to Reduced State Appropriations
In response to significant state reductions in appropriations to NMSU, our budget for Instruction and General (I&G) must be adjusted accordingly. We are temporarily covering some of these reductions with one-time budget savings. This strategy will allow us some time to thoughtfully identify permanent solutions through savings and revenues to address this budget situation.
In addition to decreases in spending within each unit, all units need to consider other options, as discussed at the August 7 Executive Leadership Retreat. Examples include working together to identify ways to collaborate more effectively, reduce duplication, and cease functions that do not serve our Land Grant mission.
The Las Cruces-based units that report to the Chancellor are included in this response. The Community Colleges are working directly with the Chancellor on their budget reductions.
One-time budget savings
Because the permanent reductions cannot be realized immediately, we have identified short-term solutions that will cover a portion of the budget shortfall for the current fiscal year (FY21). To assist with one-time savings, we have done the following:
- Identified central funds that can contribute to the cut for this year.
- Reduced the I&G funds carried forward from FY20 to FY21 from 6% to 3%.
- Paused hiring for all regular faculty and staff positions on the Las Cruces campus though December 31, 2020 (see August 7 memo).
- Requested that academic and administrative units identify additional one-time funds, with additional information to follow.
Permanent budget savings
Because the budget cuts are to our permanent budget, they cannot continue to be covered by one-time funds. Rather, we must reduce permanent (recurring) funds to meet the reduced budget.
In addition to reductions we can make centrally, we are asking all Vice Presidents and Deans to submit permanent budget reduction scenarios of 6%, 9%, and 12%. The scenarios are due to the President’s Office by September 15, 2020. The specific amounts are identified in Table 1 (see PDF).
At the August 7 Executive Leadership Retreat, we also discussed revenue generation. State budgets are unable to fund the full cost of educating students for an increasingly technological and rapidly evolving workplace. Differential tuition and technology fees are becoming common across higher education, and these can be part of our overall budget solution. I caution that solutions including either increased tuition revenue or fees must also allow for appropriate approval processes and notifications.
As you move forward in developing these plans, please work with our Budget Office and Human Resource Services to ensure that you are following NMSU policies. More specific information will be provided by those two offices.
- Budget Office: (575) 646-2432
- Human Resource Services: (575) 646-2449
What happens next
Soon after September 15, we will review all submitted scenarios, schedule another Retreat to further discuss budget realignment, make final decisions regarding unit budget cuts, and work with each unit to finalize plans.