President Robert L. Manuel > Notes from Rob > 2022-23 > Budget process update

Budget Process Update

It’s the last week of the winter quarter, and I know it’s a very busy time across our entire university. Thank you for all that you do every day to teach our students how to think critically, act meaningfully, and care for one another.

As you have likely heard, the Strategic Resource Allocation Committee, known as SRAC, has been working with our leadership teams to plan for our next fiscal year, which runs from July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024. Without any corrective actions, we will face a budget gap for FY24, and SRAC has been focused on identifying possible solutions that will close the gap between our revenues and expenses.

Last week, SRAC unanimously endorsed a proposed FY24 budget and sent it to me for review. We have six weeks until the FY24 budget needs to be submitted to the board, and I want to use this time to discuss SRAC’s recommendations and get your feedback.

We will take these next six weeks to socialize SRAC’s recommendations with our larger community. To ensure we uphold our shared governance process, I am asking the provost, deans, and vice presidents to engage in regular conversations with the administration, faculty, and staff in our colleges and units to think through SRAC’s recommendations and help close the budget gap expected in the next fiscal year. Our highest priorities remain providing a high quality of life for those who choose to work here and ensuring we continue to deliver a quality and impactful education to our student population.

A key feature of the current proposed budget for FY24 is the inclusion of merit increases for our staff and faculty. It is, however, clear that the budget gap requires us to consider cost reductions beyond non-personnel expenses, such as reviewing teaching load/scheduling, eliminating currently vacant positions, and the possibility of launching a Voluntary Separation Incentive Program for the administration and staff.

It is our full intention to cover the budget gap through these larger options first before considering staff reductions, which we absolutely hope to avoid. We won’t have all the answers until we know the outcome from exhausting all our other options first. Because our university is so complex, the proposed solutions differ according to area and by faculty, staff, and administration. Again, to best collect your feedback and share information, I am asking the provost, deans, and vice presidents to engage you in regular conversations about SRAC’s recommendations.

Once we have worked through the FY24 budget and are ready to submit those recommendations to the board, SRAC will work in earnest on a five-year plan that will build long-term financial stability. This long-range plan will detail how we build our complete path forward; how we manage to diversify our revenue streams; and how we continue to invest in the academic programs that are based on our mission and serve our students and community so well. While we have to make these difficult decisions now, we do so knowing that we will constantly monitor implications and reinvest the successful outcomes to fund our aspirations going forward.

I know this is a challenging and stress-inducing process to go through. I also know there are many questions that we won’t have answers for right at this moment. The provost, deans, and vice presidents are committed to continuing these conversations so that as we do have answers, we can promptly share them with you. You have the combined commitment of the leaders across the DePaul community to keep you engaged in our progress, and we will communicate regularly when there is additional information to share.

I want to express my gratitude for your exceptional commitment, dedication, and patience, which has been instrumental in helping us navigate uncharted territory these past few years, as well as the spirit of shared governance that has gotten us to this point. I’m equally grateful to the members of SRAC who have dedicated significant time and energy to identify possible solutions to create a balanced budget for FY24. I’m especially appreciative for SRAC’s commitment to balance their recommendations between caring for the people who make up our community, and our need to continue to deliver on our mission.

You will hear soon and regularly from the provost, deans, and vice presidents. I encourage you to reach out with questions, and I also will keep you informed as we have new information to share. Thank you again for all that you do for DePaul.