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UW Town-Hall Meeting Tuesday to Provide Update on Budget Issues

July 20, 2016

University of Wyoming employees and students will receive an update on the university’s budget-cutting actions and preparations during a town-hall meeting Tuesday, July 26, from 12:30-2 p.m.

The session will take place in the Wyoming Union ballroom, and it will be available on the WyoCast system at

President Laurie Nichols is scheduled to provide an update on progress toward a targeted reduction of $19.3 million in the current fiscal year. And UW’s Financial Crisis Advisory Committee (FCAC) will present information on its work to help the president prepare a plan to reduce spending in the 2018 fiscal year by $15 million.

Nichols has approved 90 minutes of release time for UW employees to attend. The scheduling of release time should be a collaborative discussion between employee and supervisor to ensure the effective and efficient operation of the unit.

The targeted reduction of $19.3 million for the current fiscal year was based upon estimates of several actions approved by the UW Board of Trustees in June. Nichols says there is uncertainty regarding the savings to be realized from some of the actions. Based upon that information -- and the possibility of further losses of state funding -- the FCAC voted last week to pursue cuts totaling $15 million for the 2018 fiscal year, rather than an initial estimate of $10 million. The additional reduction also could allow for flexibility in advancing specific university priorities.

The committee has recommended these reductions from FY 2017 levels for FY 2018: Academic Affairs, $9.5 million; Division of Administration, $1.5 million; Athletics, $1.2 million; Information Technology, $1 million; Student Affairs, $970,000; Office of General Counsel, $215,000; President’s Office, $190,000; UW Foundation, $175,000; Office of Research and Economic Development, $150,000; and Governmental and Community Affairs, $100,000.

In addition to providing details of how those reductions would be made to the FCAC, the individual units will be asked to assess the impact of the cuts. The individual amounts could be adjusted based upon information presented by the divisions, including the relative distribution of FY 2017 position losses across the campus, before the committee delivers its final recommendations to the president. The Board of Trustees will make the final decision after receiving recommendations from the president.

The FCAC has been meeting twice a week to help the president prepare a plan for the 2018 fiscal year to present to the Board of Trustees in November. The reductions are a result of a drop in the university’s state block grant, driven by Wyoming’s economic downturn and loss of state government revenue. For the biennium that began July 1, UW faces a loss of nearly $41 million in state funding.

Nichols expects to present a preliminary plan to the FCAC for review and comment by Oct. 10; it then goes to the campus for comment Oct. 11. The comment period will end Oct. 28, and the FCAC will present the comments to the president by Nov. 1. Nichols will give her final recommendation to the Board of Trustees Nov. 8 for consideration at its regular meeting Nov. 16.

The committee meets Tuesdays and Fridays from noon-2 p.m. in Room 506 of Coe Library. The meetings are open to the public, and the first 15 minutes have been set aside for comments from visitors. FCAC meeting minutes and agendas are available at

Members of the FCAC are: Department of Statistics Professor Stephen Bieber, who directs the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center; Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs David Jones, to be succeeded by Kate Miller Aug. 1; Vice President for Administration Bill Mai; Outreach School Dean Susan Frye; College of Law Dean Klint Alexander; Associate Professor Robert Sprague, in the Department of Management and Marketing; Professor Donal O’Toole, in the Department of Veterinary Sciences; Molly Marcusse, assistant archivist at the American Heritage Center; Professor Frederic Sterbenz, in the Department of Economics and Finance; Professor R. McGreggor Cawley, in the Department of Political Science; Kevin Colman, bus driver in UW Transit and Parking Services; Rachel Stevens, office associate, senior, in the School of Pharmacy; and Associated Students of UW representative Joel Defebaugh.

The FCAC and the president continue to invite input from the campus community and others. People are encouraged to email their comments and ideas to

Information about UW’s budget reductions for the new biennium is available at

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