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Fiscal Health | Washington State University

Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine response

Dear Colleagues,

As you have heard through recent town hall meetings and emails from President Schulz and Provost Bernardo, as well as in local news coverage, the university is facing significant budget challenges. After running significant deficits for the past four years, the university has drawn down more than half of its reserves and is facing a $30 million annual shortfall.

For the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, the process of starting the college and achieving accreditation has necessitated that a significant portion of our costs precede our major revenue streams from medical student tuition and the state. As a result, the College of Medicine has placed additional demands on university reserves.

As members of WSU, we must always participate in the effective stewardship of the university’s resources. This means sharing responsibility in times of reduced spending, as well.

To contribute to this university-wide effort, President Schulz and Provost Bernardo have requested we:

  1. Reduce planned FY-18 expenditures by 2.5%
  2. Limit all non-mission-critical discretionary spending

While we must meet these objectives, we must do so without creating undue risk to the College of Medicine’s mission or to accreditation. As such, I am directing the following actions to be taken by all departments:

  1. Delay new hires where possible
  2. Reduce travel to trips that are mission critical
  3. Continue to share campus and central resources where practical
  4. Make full use of donor-directed and grant funds to cover operations costs where appropriate
  5. Leverage internal talent in collaborative teams so as to not duplicate resources

For those departments that are conducting sponsored research, it is imperative to limit payroll and charges to the general state fund. This requires properly allocating salary costs to grants, contracts or startup funds, and appropriately using F&A funds for facilities and administrative expenses.

I realize these messages are challenging to hear, and being asked to conserve resources while simultaneously standing up the college is difficult. I recognize that we still have key hires to make, affiliations to create, programs to implement, and faculty to recruit and develop. Further, we must stay the course on the startup of our practice plan and our technology incubator. And, we must do all of this while providing our students with the excellent education they deserve.

This will be a team effort and we will look to everyone across the college to contribute to meeting these directives. Please know that the leadership team and I stand ready to support each of you in doing your part to bring financial health to the university.

Regards,

John Tomkowiak, MD, MOL
Founding Dean