Subject: Memorandum to Members of the University Faculty and Staff
Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2002 17:21:56 -0500
From: "Francis L. Lawrence" <president@RUTGERS.RUTGERS.EDU>
January 25, 2002
Memorandum to: Members
of the University Faculty and Staff
From: Francis L. Lawrence
Re: Fiscal Year 2002 Budget Reduction
As widely reported,
New Jersey faces a large budget shortfall this
fiscal year caused by the decline of the economy and tax revenues. The
fiscal conditions in the state are similar to those prevailing across
the country in the context of a national recession deeply exacerbated
the economic effects of the attacks of September 11th.
has mandated a reduction of non-essential programs
and services in order to balance the state budget. The Governor
discussed the current state budget problems during a meeting with public
college and university presidents this week and indicated his strong
support for higher education in building New Jersey's future. However,
the public higher education institutions were advised of a 5% reduction
in their state support for the current fiscal year. This reduction is
similar to the recent announcements for state agencies and departments.
We are still in the process of determining the specific implications of
this 5% reduction for Rutgers. However, the preliminary information we
have indicates that the amount of the reduction will be severe. Both
the size of the reduction and the timing late in the fiscal year will
mean significant sacrifice for us.
After consulting with members of the Cabinet, I am announcing that all
discretionary spending should be suspended immediately. Any previous
commitment and all contractual obligations should be honored. Hiring
should be deferred on currently vacant state funded faculty and staff
positions as well as any state funded positions that become vacant on
July 1, 2002. Also, reclassifications and postings should be held in
abeyance. These emergency budget measures are instituted to provide an
opportunity to analyze what the 5% reduction entails for Rutgers and to
develop a strategy for achieving savings.
Exceptions to the hiring restrictions may be made in selected instances
of top priorities for core functions related to instruction, or where
the impact of deferring a particular hire will have an unacceptably
severe impact on an important core program of the university. In these
instances, where the unit believes an appointment is absolutely
essential, a request can be made for an exception to the appropriate
A request for an exemption by Deans and Directors should contain the
explicit program justification and a statement that the proposed
appointment will not mitigate the responsibility to meet a budget
reduction when a target has been assigned to their unit.
The university has made impressive gains in the quality and reputation
of our academic programs in all our schools and colleges. I am committed
to protecting the core academic and student needs of the university and
the continuing advancement of our academic excellence. We need to be
prudent now in this current constrained economic environment so as to
ensure further progress.
The state's budget problems that are now affecting us must also be taken
in the context of a very difficult budget outlook for next fiscal year.
Unfortunately, we must be prepared for the possibility that the budget
year beginning July 1 will require the university to absorb further
reductions beyond those required for the current budget.
The economic realities of our state and nation have confronted the
university with a severe challenge. We will need to make the required
sacrifices while working to protect our core teaching, student, and
research functions. The long term academic progress of the university
will be preserved while we work together, with your understanding and
support, during this immediate budget emergency.