August 27, 2021
Dear Faculty and Staff:
Withstanding the unparalleled health, safety and financial challenges brought on
last year by the COVID‑19 pandemic, areas across the Washington State University
system made tremendous sacrifices while keeping the Cougar Spirit strong.
While an improving state economy leaves WSU’s FY 2022 state
appropriations intact, an estimated decline in tuition revenue of between $18 and
$23 million requires all campuses, colleges and departments to continue to
operate with lesser budgets.
With these challenges in mind, WSU recommitted itself to several core budget
principals for FY 2022:
- Prioritize core and mission critical activities to support high quality
academic delivery and student success functions.
- Work to sustain as many WSU jobs as possible.
- Maintain a focus on revenue generation, including accelerating revenue
enhancement opportunities in fiscally responsible ways.
Last year, areas prepared 3‑year budgets reflecting a 10% reduction
in core funds for FY 2021, FY 2022 and FY 2023. Ahead of this
year’s planning process, units were told to plan for 7.5% reductions
in core funds instead, a reduction sufficient to protect against the projected
decline in tuition and other core revenues.
At the budget hearings held August 3–5, each chancellor,
vice president, and dean presented both how the 2.5% of restored funding
would be used to advance strategic initiatives, and continued challenges
associated with the 7.5% reduction.
At the conclusion of budget hearings, our Executive Committee reviewed the
presentations in light of the established budget principles and prioritized
the most urgent needs that would have greatest impact on returning to in‑person
classes and student success. The following recommendations were made and
- A total of $3.5 million in target restoration and $567,000 in
one‑time funds are being provided to these units in alignment with
our core budget principles:
- College of Arts and Sciences and Libraries to sustain academic delivery
and enable students to achieve academic goals
- Human Resource Services to preserve operationally critical jobs, and
Finance and Adminstration to preserve and restore jobs that support critical
- Enrollment Management and Student Affairs to promote enrollment, retention,
and student support ultimately resulting in tuition revenue generation
- Areas with positive core-fund reserve balances at the end of FY 2021
will again be allowed to spend up to 5% of their carryforwards in FY 2022 to
offset their 7.5% reduction target. This action will provide up to
$6 million in relief to areas with positive balances.
The budget hearings also provided an opportunity for areas to report
expenses and lost revenue related to the COVID‑19 pandemic. Reported
costs and lost revenues, when combined with pandemic costs accumulated
centrally, far exceeds the amount of federal relief funding available to
WSU. Additional analysis is needed to arrive at the best system‑wide
strategy for use of federal recovery funds.
With the conclusion of budget hearings and Executive Committee
recommendations in place, next steps are to finalize FY 2022
allocations and continue the 3‑year all fund budget development
process begun last year. Templates and instructions for these activities
will be developed by the Budget Office and further information will be
available early this fall.
I thank you once again for your efforts on behalf of the university,
and appreciate the careful stewardship of WSU resources in these
Vice President of Finance and Administration