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PRESIDENT RUNTE ADDRESSES STATE BUDGET NEWS

Old Dominion University President Roseann Runte sent the following letter to faculty and staff on Jan. 25.

Dear Colleagues:

Here is the latest news from Richmond. I am sorry it is not better, but we will work together to make the hope which glimmers on the horizon shine center stage on Old Dominion's skies.

Governor Warner presented his executive amendments to the budget for fiscal year 2002 and the 2002-04 biennium on Jan. 22. His budget reflects a very conservative approach to the fiscal situation and includes setting aside about $100 million in the event of a further downturn in the economy.

The following is a summary of the major components outlined in his presentation and the fiscal impact on Old Dominion University.

Faculty and Staff Salary Increases
Gov. Warner's budget eliminates the salary increase for faculty and staff. The result is that faculty and staff at state colleges and universities, as well as all other state employees, do not receive a salary increase this year or next year.

Budget Reductions
His amended budget increases the across-the-board cuts from 2 to 3 percent in the current fiscal year and to 7 percent and 8 percent in fiscal years 2003 and 2004, respectively. Please realize that these reductions are cumulative (not incremental) in nature. For Old Dominion University, this means we will need to reduce the budget an additional $844,000 this year. The Vice Presidents are now preparing their strategies for this additional 1 percent reduction in this year's budget.

Our 7 percent budget target for fiscal year 2003 is approximately $5.9 million and our 8 percent target for fiscal year 2004 is approximately $6.8 million or an additional $850,000. As we begin the budget planning process for the upcoming year, the Vice Presidents and Deans will be identifying the necessary actions to achieve these targets. Unfortunately, it will not be a painless process.

Tuition Increases
Gov. Warner has proposed lifting the current freeze on tuition for in-state undergraduate students and has also deleted the language related to the limitations presented by former Gov. Gilmore. Gov. Warner's budget assumes a 5 percent, across-the-board tuition increase for our students for each year. The additional revenue will be reverted to the general fund in their first year of the biennium, however, it provides some flexibility in the second year for using the additional tuition revenue to offset the budget reductions. We need to be sensitive to the impact of tuition increases for our students and on enrollment overall. If the decision is made to increase tuition the full 5 percent, we would be able to apply the resulting revenue of approximately $960,000 to the additional $850,000 in budget reductions we are required to make in fiscal year 2004.

Other Budget Changes
Gov. Warner's budget deleted the funding we were to receive for the Virginia Microelectronics Consortium initiative, amounting to approximately $96,300 in fiscal year 2003 and $187,713 in fiscal year 2004.

Further, it lowered the increase Old Dominion was to receive for student financial assistance by 20 percent. The financial assistance allocation will now be approximately $8.9 million in fiscal year 2003 and $9.1 million in fiscal year 2004. Currently, the University receives about $8.3 million in state aid for students.

Finally, the proposed budget would reduce the funding for our research and public service centers and projects in fiscal year 2004. This $105,000 decrease in funding is based on a 10 percent reduction for the Physical Oceanography Commonwealth Center, the International Maritime, Ports and Logistics Management Institute, the Applied Research Center and the CHANCE Program.

I encourage you to contact your legislators and express your concerns about the budget. They need to continue to hear that excellent colleges and universities are necessary to produce new generations of educated citizens if the Commonwealth of Virginia is to prosper in the future. If you need additional information, please contact me or one of the Vice Presidents.

Sincerely yours,

Roseann Runte
President

This article was posted on: January 25, 2002

Old Dominion University
Office of University Relations

Room 100 Koch Hall Norfolk, Virginia 23529-0018
Telephone: 757-683-3114
http://www.odu.edu/news

Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.