Budget 2010

February 27, 2009

Dear Clemson:
On Friday and Monday, the budget strategies team had an opportunity to hear from chairs of task forces that have been working almost nonstop since December to help us find solutions to our financial challenges. I am inspired by both the volume and the quality of the work that these groups have done. These reports include a wealth of creative ideas and recommendations, and we will seriously consider each one. Some can be implemented quickly, but the majority are longer-term solutions that lay the foundation for Clemson to emerge from this crisis as a stronger university. Executive summaries of the reports are posted on the budget impacts web site.
I cannot adequately express my gratitude to the faculty, staff and students who served on these task forces. They have done all of us a great service.
Although we have much more work to do, some budget strategies are beginning to take shape and be implemented. Earlier this week, we announced a retirement incentive program in Facilities that will allow that department to manage substantial budget cuts and revenue losses. I spent Tuesday in Washington meeting with members of Congress to discuss proposals for federal stimulus funding earmarked for research. There is a great deal of discussion and some confusion regarding how stimulus support will be put to use in federal agencies. Clarity should increase soon. We are positioning Clemson to benefit from these federal stimulus dollars.  We are continuing to follow the state budget process through the House and then the Senate, and we will keep you advised as we learn more about both state appropriations and one-time stimulus funds at the state level.
In all of our work, some important recurring themes are starting to emerge, which include the following:

  • Eliminate duplication rather than services;
  • Protect people through reassignments as well as elimination of vacant positions;
  • Cut administrative costs;
  • Ensure that any changes to curriculum, academic calendar or other core academic matters go through all appropriate, faculty-driven channels.

I will continue to keep you informed as the budget planning process continues.
Jim Barker