Jan. 7, 2008
I wanted to help put recent news stories about the potential for budget cuts into context and to reassure the campus that we are very early in the discussion stages. My intent is to do everything necessary to continue to provide faculty and students with the highest quality learning environment.
Governor Janet Napolitano and the Legislature have made independent and very different proposals to address a deficit in this year's state budget, which runs through June 30.
The governor's recommendation maintains NAU's current budget.
The chairmen of the House and Senate Appropriations committees have recommended a $16 million cut to NAU's budget.
I will be at the state Capitol on Wednesday to answer questions from lawmakers about the legislative proposal. This will be the first of many discussions to occur over the next several weeks.
It is widely acknowledged that education is key to Arizona's future success, and the universities, in particular, are vital economic engines. In the past few years, NAU has made significant strides in expanding programs statewide, building new academic facilities and growing enrollment—all to meet the needs of our fast-growing state.
At the same time, we recognize the urgency of the state's budget situation. We must continue to exercise prudent and responsible fiscal controls as well as look for additional cost-saving measures to use taxpayer and student tuition dollars wisely.
I have asked the university leadership to review all expenditures and move forward only with those deemed essential.
As I said earlier, this process will take some time to work through, but we will continue to build on our impressive momentum. I will keep you updated on future developments.