A letter from President Wiewel
PSU’s leadership team has been working to find ways to reduce our projected $15 million shortfall in 2014-15, and I wanted to update you on our progress before classes end this fall term. In my November 25 letter, I detailed two developments that help us reduce the shortfall: A two-year pay freeze for unrepresented unclassified administrators who earn an annual salary of $100,000 or more, and an increase in tuition revenue this fall of $1.5 million that surpassed earlier projections.
After further deliberations and input from across the campus, PSU’s Executive Committee has determined further important steps toward a balanced budget:
- Unrepresented unclassified staff members who earn an annual salary of less than $100,000 will receive 2 percent pay increases in 2014 and 2015 for the first $50,000 of their salaries. That means staff members who earn $50,000 will receive a raise of $1,000 next year, and a staff member who earns any amount between $50,000 and $100,000 also will receive a $1,000 raise. Department chairs and equivalent positions are excluded. These modest raises, which take effect January 1, help employees keep up with inflation. Because salaries and benefits account for 81 percent of our annual operating budget, it is not possible to bring our revenues and expenses into balance without some impact on compensation.
- PSU can no longer afford to subsidize our football program from the university’s annual general operating fund. The program will be required to become self-supporting, and Athletics is developing plans to do so starting next year. The program will continue to compete in the Big Sky Conference in NCAA Division I, and we look forward to Viking football next season at Jeld-Wen Field.
- Reducing projected capital expenditures, retaining online fees and readjusting inflation costs further reduce the projected shortfall.
These and previously announced savings and revenue increases total about $7.5 million, or about half of the amount we need to balance our 2014-15 budget. However, we will continue to ask units to identify larger potential adjustments in order to make strategic rather than across-the-board decisions.
I want to thank those who have submitted comments and suggestions, and we welcome more input on the Finance and Administration website (https://www.pdx.edu/fadm) as we explore additional steps to close the gap. If you have questions, please see the Frequently Asked Questions posting on this website. I will continue to provide regular updates and appreciate your engagement in this process.
We have many accomplishments across the university to celebrate in 2013, and we are determined to make equitable and strategic decisions to move PSU forward in 2014.
Wim Wiewel, President
December 5, 2013