Quick Ref

To: Faculty and Staff
From: Eric D. Isaacs, Provost
Subject: FY2016 University Budget Status
Date: June 26, 2015

In April, I wrote to you about the University finances.  Our goal is to enable the continued energetic investment in our academic programs – in research, education, and financial support for students – and to establish the structures, discipline, and effective and efficient administrative support that will enable us to sustain investments over time.  In order to accomplish this goal, we need at this time to ensure we are being most efficient about our administrative structure and expenses.  One aspect of this is our need to make targeted cuts for the FY2016 budget.  I am writing to give you a brief update on our progress.

We have now completed the budget for the coming fiscal year.  The College, the divisions, and the professional schools all saw increases in their overall budgets.  Within the context of the overall increase, academic units reduced their budgets for administrative functions by an average of 2%, which takes into account staff salary increases, facilitating continued robust investment in academic programs, including support for faculty, and financial support for students. The University’s administrative units implemented average budget cuts of 6%, including provisions for staff salary increases.  These cuts allow the University to prioritize resources to support the needs key to our mission.

We greatly value the dedication and service of our staff. The vast majority of budget cuts related to staff will be accomplished through attrition and elimination of vacant administrative positions, and units are working to limit any layoffs that may be necessary in particular circumstances.  The University will continue to seek ways to minimize any negative impacts on staff.  We will also communicate to staff in a transparent manner as cost containment initiatives proceed.  

Deans and Vice Presidents across the University have approached these reductions in close cooperation with my office and we have been able to achieve the necessary cost containment for FY2016. As I mentioned in my April message, this approach reflects a necessary sustained effort to be efficient in administrative structures and costs.  We continue to project financial investments in key academic and other programmatic directions.  

We are committed to what has made and will continue to make the University of Chicago a great University – hiring the most outstanding faculty, attracting and supporting the best students from diverse national, racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds, ensuring that we provide the resources and facilities to support scholarly and scientific inquiry, and creating efficient and effective administrative functions to support and enhance this work. 

By any metric – student demand, philanthropic giving, and the quality of recent faculty hires – we are witnessing tremendous progress on this campus.  I thank you for your ongoing contributions to this great University.