View this email in a browser

Office of the President, UTA

 

 

May 29, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Since late January, UTA has been addressing the many, wide-ranging impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, you — the UTA faculty and staff — have demonstrated resilience and dedication. Thank you!

The adjustments we had to make for the spring semester and now for the summer and beyond to accommodate how we teach students and work on campus incurred unplanned costs. Negative economic impacts have also been felt throughout the Texas economy and are expected to affect the state’s projected revenues, thus likely adversely impacting available state funds for higher education. As a result, the governor recently tasked each state agency and institution of higher education to reduce appropriated budget expenditures by 5% for the 2020-2021 biennium. In other words, a 5% reduction in budget this fiscal year and another 5% reduction in budget next fiscal year, starting this August.

In anticipation of these possible cuts, we have been fiscally prudent by implementing the cost-containment measures that I outlined in my April 22nd message to campus. These have included:

  • forgoing merit raises next fiscal year,
  • implementing a strategic hiring freeze,
  • pausing reclassifications and salary increases, except in cases considered mission critical and in direct support of our strategic plan,
  • adopting a more conservative approach to department and unit spending decisions, and
  • limiting expenditures to essential items.

In response to the governor’s order, initially we will use unencumbered funds in both the Provost and Budget offices. The budget in other units including colleges/school will be unaffected for the time being. In anticipation of further budget reduction in the next fiscal year and beyond, we will continue the above-mentioned cost-containment measures. Additionally, I have asked the vice presidents and deans to begin contingency planning in case additional cost-containment measures are necessary and to find ways to enhance operating efficiency so we can continue to meet the goals of the current strategic plan and transform the way we teach, conduct research, provide services, and engage externally.

Our cost-containment and budget reduction strategies are designed to incorporate these fiscal reductions, while maintaining our focus on student success and access, and continuing our progress toward achieving Texas Tier 1. Hence, it is imperative that spending, including hiring personnel from external grants, gifts, endowments, and STARs funds, shall continue to proceed in accordance with previously approved budgets.

I know that these may be very challenging steps for our campus community, but they are necessary given the impacts of COVID-19 on the state and University’s financial situations. I remain confident that with shared perseverance and innovation, together we will see UTA emerge from these challenging times a stronger university.

Thank you for your continued commitment to our students and dedication to the future of the University.

With gratitude,

Teik C. Lim, Ph.D.
President ad interim

-

 

 

Office of the President701 S. Nedderman Dr.  • Arlington, Texas 76019

president@uta.edu • 817-272-2101 (voice) • 817-272-5656 (fax)