Date: October 12, 2023
To: Chancellor’s Council
From: Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr.
Re: Budget Reduction Planning FY 24-25
The campus has answered the call to innovate and reinvent. As I shared with you during my State of the Campus address last week, we are making progress to address our challenges while following our north star: to provide a quality education to the broadest array of students possible.
- We introduced the “Open Space” model which allowed various campus stakeholders to participate in facilitated conversations about the future direction of UNCG. Over the past 18 months, new actionable ideas were generated at the divisional and university levels through “open space” and more than 100 engagements.
- We charged the Task Force on Financial Sustainability to examine administrative and operational strategies to make the University more efficient and effective. The Task Force was chaired by Jerry Blakemore, Vice Chancellor for Institutional Integrity and General Counsel, and was composed of representatives from the faculty, staff, and administration. The Task Force report on recommendations has been released here.
- We also charged an Academic Portfolio Review Task Force to lead a comprehensive analysis of our academic programs. Open forums were hosted to discuss the rubrics and an online survey was provided. In September, the revised rubrics were posted on the Innovation & Reinvention website. And this week, Institutional Research populated the rubrics which have been posted here. The review will also be informed by a new Academic Dashboard, which was developed in collaboration with the consulting firm rpk and UNCG’s Office of Institutional Research and Enterprise Data Management. The Deans, in collaboration with chairs, heads, and program directors, will lead the Portfolio Review Process with recommendations to the Provost and Chancellor for action early in the Spring 2024 semester.
The enrollment landscape for higher education institutions, especially regional public universities like UNCG, remains challenging. As I shared in my state of the campus address, thanks to many of our faculty, chairs, deans and special appreciation to our Enrollment Management team, our first time in college numbers (first year students and our transfer numbers) are up compared to this time last year (see Table 1 below). On the other hand, student credit hour production at census declined -.4% and overall enrollment declined -1.3%. To be sure, we are trending in the right direction, but it should be noted that calendar year fundable student credit hours (how enrollment funding is calculated) are down 3%. And this budget exercise reflects this reality.
Two factors explain the reduction in total headcount and student credit hours. First, as can be seen in Table 1, graduate enrollment is down significantly (-5.1%). Second, as you have heard me say a number of times, the “cohort drag” produced by much lower enrollment from ‘20-’22 means that there will be a negative pull or drag on enrollment for at least three more years. In short, while the enrollment picture is a little brighter than it has recently been, we still must be frugal with budgetary decisions.
Table 1: UNCG Headcount and Student Credit Hour Production
|Fall 2018||Fall 2019||Fall 2020||Fall 2021||Fall 2022||Fall 2023|
|Total Credit Hours||250,365||248,781||241,625||229,525||215,565||214,736|
With our reduction in student credit hour and head count, we must embrace the concept of an open and collective effort to align resources with a strategy focused on:
- Delivering the highest quality educational experience that meets both student and labor market demand,
- Investing in high impact knowledge production, and
- Reaffirming our historic commitment to community engagement.
All divisions are asked to engage in a budget reduction exercise at 1%, 2% and 3%. The table below provides amounts per division. All divisions should plan for submission of the 1-3% scenarios by Thursday, January 18, 2024. Please protect student credit hour productions and student success and retention efforts in your submissions. Final decisions will be made shortly thereafter.
|Divisions||FY2024 Permanent State Budget||1%||2%||3%|
|Research & Engagement||2,135,275||21,353||42,706||64,058|
|Total Academic Affairs||142,507,330||1,425,073||2,850,147||4,275,220|
|Information Technology Services**||12,150,642||121,506||243,013||364,519|
|Finance and Administration||24,128,950||241,290||482,579||723,869|
General Counsel, Chancellor
|Gateway Research Park||531,092||5,311||10,622||15,933|
|Total Non-Academic Affairs Divisions||51,380,308||513,803||1,027,606||1,541,409|
** Includes UTLC (University Teaching & Learning Center) shift in personnel and related expenses to ITS from Academic Affairs.
The final reduction will be determined once all divisional budget reduction plans are reviewed. Vice Chancellor Bob Shea and his team will be in contact with additional information and templates. The final reduction amount must address the deficit in student credit hour production and allow for investments in strategic areas of growth on our campus. Past examples of this investment strategy include:
- Rescue funds for students at-risk for dropping out due to financial reasons;
- A Bryan School online business program geared towards working adults; and
- Supporting, recruiting, and retaining our fastest growing demographic, LatinX students (through a high school summer camp, bilingual admissions, advising and financial aid staff).
We will continue to support and invest in areas of growth and demand to ensure a strong future for UNCG. At the same time, we will continue to support internal grants and provide the necessary research infrastructure to ensure we meet our research goals and support faculty research, creativity, and scholarship.
I remain confident that this dedicated community of faculty and staff will join me in guiding UNCG to a thriving future.