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Fiscal Health | Washington State University

Graduate School response

Dear Graduate School personnel:

As you are aware, Washington State University is facing a serious budget situation, and spending must be reduced for FY 2018 and at least the following two years. President Schulz sent the attached memo to the deans, chancellors and vice-presidents. He gave us permission to share this memo with our units. I feel that sharing the President’s memo is the most effective means to communicate with you regarding the current budget situation and the over-arching strategy to right WSU’s fiscal ship. As you will note in the memo, President Schulz requested that each area administrator communicate with his/her unit to outline the steps being taken to meet the required expenditure reductions. That is the purpose of this email memo.

Dean Andrefsky managed our budget very well, and left the Graduate School in a solid financial position. However, like all units across campus, we have to undergo an expenditure reduction. It is important to note that this approach is different than a budget cut. As noted in the President’s memo, the funds will remain in the unit, not be pulled back or redistributed. The other way to say this: we are not losing funds; we just need to save for a sunny day when the fiscal ship is back on course. When that day comes, we can use these funds to further the mission of the Graduate School.

No reduction in the Graduate School workforce is planned in FY 2018; it is my intent to plan ahead so that such actions can be avoided in subsequent years. However, as positions become vacant, there must be very careful consideration of whether the position needs to be filled to sustain the mission of the Graduate School. Even if the argument can be made that the responsibilities of the position are mission-critical and these responsibilities cannot be managed without replacing personnel, it still may be necessary to delay that hiring as means of expenditure reduction. Bottom line: like staff and faculty across the WSU community, we need to pull together as a team, and work efficiently and effectively even if there are fewer of us. I’ve had the pleasure of working with you over the last three years, and I appreciate all of the hard work you do, so I know we can meet this challenge together.

There are two other areas that will be targeted for spending reductions. First, the Graduate School will have to be more conservative in offering RA positions, such as those that leverage applications for external grants. Second, travel will be reduced where possible. That is not to say that there will not be any travel for recruiting, development or staff training and professional development, but for each request, I will be asking for careful explanation of the costs relative to the benefits of the proposed travel.

I realize that discussions of budget problems can cause anxiety and stress. Please let me know if you have any questions or feed-back to share. I am committed to ensuring the success of the Graduate School, and supporting each of you as a member of that team.

Best regards,

Lisa
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Dr. Lisa M. Gloss
Interim Dean, Graduate School
Associate professor, School of Molecular Biosciences
Washington State University Pullman, WA 99164-1030
TEL (509) 335-5859