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Fiscal Health | Washington State University

WSU Vancouver response

Colleagues,

Earlier this week you received an email from WSU President Kirk Schulz on plans to bring financial stability to the university.

WSU Vancouver will participate in the institution-wide financial recovery plan announced by President Schulz. I want to tell you how the plan affects us. Last year we added $500,000 to our carry-forward campus-wide. This fiscal year we need to add the same amount plus approximately $750,000. For FY 2018, our campus needs to contribute $1.2M to its carry-forward.

This is a spending freeze, not a budget cut. Neither budget nor funds are being taken away from the campus. Our reserves are helping WSU’s financial position, but the money remains in WSU Vancouver’s budgets (both centrally and at the department level)

It is important to note:

  • The dollars saved remain here – there will be no transfers back to the central budget nor recoveries to central campus funds
  • The campus central funds will cover almost $500,000 of the additional carry-forward target for FY 2018. Areas are asked to carry-forward funds at the same rate as last year, with an additional 1 percent of their PBL.
  • Each area will meet its targets in different ways. Some of the items to be considered include:
    • Reduce or defer travel and other non-essential operating expenses
    • Discontinue services that are not fully meeting constituent needs
    • Consolidate services and units to reduce duplication and cost, and to gain efficiencies
    • Avoid salary increases outside of those granted by the university through planned salary increase programs
    • Leave vacant positions (salary or wages) open
  • The targets for adding to our carry-forward apply to state (PBL) funds. We must also maintain other fund types (such as summer self-sustaining funds) at the same level of carry-forward as we had at fiscal year-end 2017. This means we cannot shift expenses to other fund types, except to the extent that revenue has increased.
  • Finally, we will have updates to our budget as we progress through the fiscal year. Managing our carry-forward to this level of accountability both collectively and individually has not been under such active management historically. This requires new systems, reports, review, projections and revisions. We anticipate an update that may result in changes to our plan after fall term, most likely in the December/January time frame.

I want to thank our academic directors, unit heads and campus leadership for strong fiscal stewardship that puts us in a good position to meet our targets.

Consult with the director of your academic or administrative area for information on how your unit is planning to meet its targets; for questions about broader institutional or campus matters, please feel free to contact Lynn Valenter, vice chancellor of finance and operations at lvalenter@wsu.edu.

Sincerely,
Mel Netzhammer