Yesterday the Board of Trustees held a third special meeting this month to set the budget parameters for next year (July 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015).
As you may recall, CWU requested but did not receive funding in lieu of a tuition increase. Last year, the legislature froze tuition for the 2013-14 academic year, but allowed an increase for the second year. During the legislative session just completed, lawmakers made a mid-course change and approved a tuition freeze for the second year.
The freeze leaves the university about $4 million short of the long-term financial plan trustees had constructed to ensure continued enhancements in educational quality and service to students.
Yesterday the trustees rejected the notion of layoffs as a way to bridge this budget gap. Instead, they directed me to continue the implementation of responsibility centered management (RCM), which will continue our focus on student success and implementing program effectiveness. The board authorized the use of discretionary reserves to maintain operations and asked that we continue to explore budget and revenue alternatives.
During discussions, the trustees voiced their support for the direction the University has established by our strategic plan. They expressed confidence in our ability to grow and prosper because of the excellence of our academic programs, and the enhancements we are making in university operations and budgeting.
While we are all frustrated by yet another fiscal challenge, I join the trustees in expressing my confidence in our community and share their optimism that with our collective focus on the University mission, we will continue to build and strengthen the institution we so proudly serve.
Thank you for all that you do for Central Washington University.
James L. Gaudino