Annette Hacker, director,
Office: (515) 294-4777
11-20-08 letter from President Gregory Geoffroy to ISU faculty and staff
President Geoffroy's message on budget issues
Dear Faculty and Staff:
I know many of you are wondering how the current economic downturn will affect Iowa State University, especially in light of this morning's Des Moines Register article headlined "State to cut up to $40 million."
Unfortunately, I can't give you a completely clear answer at this time, but it does appear that the Regents enterprise will be asked to return $7.5 million of its appropriation, and Iowa State's share would be approximately $3 million. We are developing plans to handle a reversion of this magnitude at the central administrative level.
We also anticipate that the downturn will affect next year's state appropriations, but we don't know the extent of the impact at this time. The Governor and legislators are awaiting the important December report from the Iowa Revenue Estimating Conference, tentatively scheduled for Dec. 12, which will be used to prepare next year's budget. We are monitoring the situation very closely, and I will keep you informed of any new developments as they occur.
I want to emphasize that Iowa's economy is in relatively better shape than many other states, where much larger budget cuts already have been enacted. I also want you to know that our finances are in good shape. We started this fiscal year with another strong state appropriation and with growth in tuition income due to the rise in our enrollment and a modest tuition increase. Our bond rating remains high; our construction projects are proceeding on schedule and within budget; and we are managing our energy costs. In addition, private support remains very strong, with more than $633 million of the Campaign Iowa State goal already achieved. But we do need to be cautious with our expenditures until we have a better understanding of what lies ahead. Contingency plans are being developed for several possible budget scenarios.
In spite of these economic uncertainties, let us all take time to enjoy this Thanksgiving season. This is always a wonderful time of the year as we count our blessings, give thanks, and celebrate the season with family and friends. I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving, and I thank you again for your excellent work on behalf of the university.
Gregory L. Geoffroy