November 25, 2013
Earlier this month, I wrote to you about the need to put PSU on a sustainable fiscal path and asked for campus input on how the university should address a projected $15 million shortfall in 2014-15. Thanks to all those who submitted comments and suggestions.
Let me update you on the progress that we have made toward balancing our budget:
• After careful consideration, PSU’s Executive Committee has determined that unrepresented unclassified administrators and staff earning an annual salary of $100,000 or more will not receive general pay increases in 2013-14 and 2014-15. Department chairs and equivalent positions are excluded. This will save approximately $860,000 over two years, which allows us to maintain critical academic programs and reduce the number of potential layoffs. No decision has been made regarding salary increases for unrepresented staff who earn less than $100,000 annually. PSU is successful because of the hard work of our employees, but it is not possible to bring our budget into balance without some impact on compensation. Salaries and benefits account for 81 percent of our annual operating budget, which have increased at a faster rate than our revenues.
• On the revenue side, we learned this month that our enrollment showed a slight increase from last year, and tuition revenue is up $1.5 million because of increased student-credit hours. That’s good news, and it reflects the strength of PSU in recruiting and supporting our students.
We still have a considerable distance to go to bridge our budget gap, and we are considering many options on how to get there. We continue to welcome your suggestions and feedback on the Finance and Administration website (https://www.pdx.edu/fadm). We also have prepared detailed answers to the questions we have received in a “Frequently Asked Questions” format that is newly posted on this website. In addition, I will continue to provide regular updates, and we will schedule a campus town hall meeting during winter quarter and invite faculty, staff and students to attend.
Thank you again for all that you do for PSU, and I appreciate your thoughtfulness in helping us find solutions to help balance our budget.