Monday, August 02, 2010

Budget Gap Closing

Say what you want about President Kim, but, unlike his predecessor, he certainly knows how to handle a budget.

This landed in campus Blitz inboxes on Friday.

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing today to describe our progress toward closing the $100 million budget gap projected for fiscal years 2011 and 2012.

Your tremendous work over the past year has allowed Dartmouth to turn a financial corner. We now have a plan that we are confident will eliminate the $54 million budget gap predicted for fiscal year 2011. This has enabled us to provide a 1% increase to the base salaries of all College non-union employees who meet/exceed expectations. A small fund for exceptional performance will also be available at the discretion of the Provost, Vice Presidents, and Deans. We regret not having an announcement on pay increases earlier, but it was critical to understand the year-end savings and revenue trends. While the amount is small, it is intended to acknowledge the importance of growing base pay and to provide some relief for cost of living expenses. Effective October 1, non-union employees will receive a 1% increase in wage/salary rates plus a supplemental payment equivalent to a 1% increase in base rates for July-September.

We have been working closely with representatives of our unionized employees on successor contracts. Theatrical employees at the Hopkins Center for the Arts have approved an agreement. SEIU members will soon vote on an agreement negotiated by their leadership.

All of you have done whatever you could to help throughout the year, and the Strategic Budget Reduction and Investment planning process has benefited from your input (for more information, go to http://budget.dartmouth.edu/). We received more than 1,300 individual suggestions through the website. The Budget Committee was expanded to increase input from faculty. We received valuable feedback from the President's Administrative Forum, Committee on Priorities, Student Budget Advisory Committee, and numerous public forums with President Jim Yong Kim and others.

With President Kim's leadership, the focus has been to advance Dartmouth's educational mission while minimizing job loss. Actions have included spending cuts; operating with a smaller workforce; changes in benefits; and maintaining our commitment to need-blind admissions and meeting the demonstrated financial needs of our students while re-instituting modest loan expectations.

The adage that the sum is greater than its parts is especially relevant here. Cumulative changes in hundreds of areas have helped Dartmouth to meet its budget targets and preserve its outstanding academic programs. We have achieved savings in many areas, such as:

* Over $22 million in capital cost savings, at the Visual Arts Center, Class of 1978 Life Sciences Center, and other projects.
* A decline in printing costs from $6.7 million in FY09 to $4.1 million in FY10.
* Procurement savings of $2-3 million in FY11.

A number of other indicators also are positive:

* Twenty-six individuals have been rehired. As part of normal hiring and replacement activities, there are over 100 jobs posted on the Dartmouth employment page. We will be filling these open positions, while meeting our financial targets.
* Dartmouth alumni continue their remarkable support with strong results in alumni annual giving for FY10. We will be releasing results next month.
* Our investment and finance teams have worked to enhance our already strong financial position. We anticipate meeting the endowment distribution projections.
In the coming year as we focus on implementing the changes underway, we will continue to depend on you for advice and participation. Current plans will address at least 80% of the total $100 million gap that had been projected through FY12, so additional work to refine projections and identify additional savings and revenues will be needed.

We want to close by thanking you for your extraordinary efforts over the past year.

Best regards,

Carol Folt, Provost and Steve Kadish, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

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