Dear members of the university community:
This week brings us confirmation of the expected 4 percent budget cut for the current fiscal year. As you may have read, this cut was applied to the entire State University System. For us it represents just over $9 million. In addition, we lost $2.5 million off the top from our Center of Excellence in Hurricane Damage Mitigation.
While the cut is significant, it is not unexpected: we planned for it. Thankfully, we will not need to make further cuts at FIU this year to accommodate this reduction.
We are starting, however, to look ahead to the regular legislative session and the 2009-10 budget. It pains me to tell you that our working assumption at this time is that, unless additional one-time funding is identified, next year our projected state budget cut will be in the 8 to 12 percent range. In our three-year plan we had anticipated some economic stability by 2009-10, so we planned for a significantly smaller reduction. It is now clear that yet more difficult choices lay ahead.
When families are under stress, they do best if they come together to solve the problem. That is the approach that we adopted last year and it is the approach that we intend to use again this year. In the past, our Town Hall Meetings have served us well. We also instituted this weekly update, in addition to other avenues of communication. This time around, we have an additional tool: Today we are launching News@FIU a multimedia news site that has been created by a team led by University and Community Relations Vice President Sandra Gonzalez-Levy.
This is your site. I invite you to visit, bookmark it and use it to communicate with the rest of the FIU community about the issues that affect us all. The site will be updated on a regular basis with news items, photos, videos and commentary.
I want to thank you in advance for your cooperation during the years ahead. I assure you that our leadership team is working diligently to expand our revenue base and find new efficiencies to achieve the best outcomes for our institution.
Modesto A. Maidique