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Published November 11, 2016
The University of Wyoming Board of Trustees will consider a plan to reduce UW’s fiscal year 2017-18 budget during the board’s regular November meeting Wednesday through Friday, Nov. 16-18.
In addition, trustees are scheduled to consider a policy on university reserves and cash balances, creation of a “professor of practice” faculty designation and a proposal to sell alcohol at UW football and basketball games. Updates on strategic planning, academic program reviews, academic program fees and other university initiatives also are on the agenda.
The meeting will be held in Salons D and E of the Marian H. Rochelle Gateway Center. Board meetings are open to the public, except for executive sessions.
Public testimony will be accepted at 11:30 a.m. Thursday. The business meeting, in which trustees take formal action on agenda items, is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Friday.
Various committees of the board are scheduled to meet Wednesday afternoon. An executive session of the full board is scheduled at 4 p.m. Wednesday. The first open session of the full board begins Thursday at 8 a.m.
The budget reduction plan for the 2017-18 fiscal year, crafted by President Laurie Nichols in consultation with the university’s Financial Crisis Advisory Committee, would result in about $10 million in permanent reductions. It is scheduled to be presented to the board Thursday afternoon, along with consideration of a policy on budget reserves and cash balances.
Already implemented for the current fiscal year are $19.3 million in reductions -- to be carried through the second year of the biennium and beyond -- achieved largely through the elimination of 102 vacant positions, hiring fewer part-time and adjunct instructors and across-the-board cuts. A retirement and separation incentive, which produced about 50 additional staff and faculty vacancies, is expected to save a total of $7 million over the biennium.
Under the new plan for FY 2018, another separation incentive would be offered, this one targeting longtime faculty members. The goal is $4 million in savings, with $2 million of that returned to the Office of Academic Affairs for hiring new faculty members in high-priority areas. In addition, about 15 faculty and staff vacancies that have come open since the FY 2017 reductions would be eliminated. A total of just under $6 million would be cut through allocations to units across campus.
The FY 2018 plan also includes a projected $1.58 million in savings on UW operational expenses based upon recommendations from Huron Consulting Group, which conducted a comprehensive review of UW’s administrative functions.
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. In the biennium that began July 1, UW has lost nearly $41 million in state funding.
A separate plan released earlier to eliminate 15 UW academic degree programs is expected to generate some savings, but that amount has not been determined -- and is not part of the FY 2018 budget reduction plan. Trustees are scheduled to be updated on those program reviews Friday morning, along with a strategic planning update.
Discussion of proposed academic program fees is scheduled Friday afternoon, although board action on the proposal is not expected this meeting.
The proposal to sell alcohol at UW football and basketball games is scheduled for discussion Thursday morning, as is the plan to create a “professor of practice” faculty designation.
The complete agenda, along with a report that includes background information on agenda items, is available at www.uwyo.edu/trustees/2016-meeting-materials/.