The General Assembly is meeting this week to debate and vote on final plans to cut the state budget by up to $500 million this year. We expect that higher education will see deeper cuts than other agencies.
On top of $9.1 million in cuts we absorbed in July and August, legislators are now considering an additional reduction that will bring our combined E&G and PSA budget cut to nearly $25 million for this year alone. And, as you know, state funds are not the only source of revenue for Clemson that will suffer in a weakened economy.
This is a serious moment in our history. We must respond to the immediate budget crisis as well as plan for our long-term recovery. It will require the best thinking and good will of everyone in the Clemson community. Vice presidents have been asked to submit their priorities and suggested reductions by Friday of this week.
In an effort to keep you informed and to seek your feedback, today we launch a new web site at http://www.clemson.edu/president/budget/
There you will find a video message from me along with links to other information, including the suggestions you have already sent me.
This page will give us a forum for sharing ideas, and help us separate fact from rumor as we go forward. Please check it often for updates from me and the budget strategy team I chair.
We have made substantial progress as a university over the past seven years, despite a lot of obstacles that have been put in our way. We are the #22 ranked public university in America. We have a five-year plan that has now been endorsed by the Board of Trustees. We have happy students who are highly satisfied with their education. We have faculty and staff who are dedicated and enjoy being here.
Our challenge is to continue to make progress and maintain this positive momentum, even in the face of a financial crisis. I’m convinced that it will bring out the best in us. If anybody can do it, Clemson can.