President Robert L. Manuel > Notes from Rob > 2022-23 > Budget timeline and results status

Budget timeline and results status

​​I am grateful to you all for working through our budget process for FY24. I have been talking with many faculty and staff groups and understand the issues and concerns this process creates for everyone in our community. I write to offer some clarification points on where we are in our process that I hope will allay some of those concerns and provide insight into how we will move through the rest of the fiscal year.

I realize this message does not fully address all the questions that have been raised. I want you to know that we will use these concerns and incorporate solutions as we design the process that will be used to craft next year's planning. Here are some updates:

Budget timeline

It is clear from your feedback, that the time we had to make decisions about the budget was one of the major concerns. Below you will see a newly designed calendar that extends our ability to review the FY24 budget for several more weeks through June 16. 

FY24 Budget Planning Process
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I recognize that these time parameters are still not sufficient. For the next budget year planning, I will work with SRAC, Faculty Council, Staff Council, Joint Council, and our board to create a calendar that offers more time for our work. In the future, we will prioritize a thoughtful and more predictable budget planning process.

Much of the stress caused by our budget timeline centered on two key dates that had legal and procedural deadlines:

  • April 4, the date DePaul needed to launch the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program, known as VSIP, to allow enough time for those who were interested to adequately explore their options.
  • April 10, the annual Faculty Handbook deadline to alert all term faculty members of their reappointment status for the next academic year.

Legal and contractual obligations drove these dates, and I apologize for the stress they caused.

The next milestone on our timeline is May 8, the deadline to deliver a high-level budget proposal to the Board of Trustees. In preparation for this meeting, units were asked to submit preliminary proposals on April 14. The board agreed it only needs to review the overarching budget categories at this stage to ensure we meet our FY24 goals, which I will note is a significant step forward in shared governance at DePaul. As a reminder, the budget proposal that the board will review includes a 3.5% merit increase pool for full-time and part-time faculty and staff, as well as a 6% increase in institutional financial aid for our students.

Within our university community, our work will continue on the budgeting process well past May 8 and through June 16, providing us more time to realize how we will meet our FY24 goals. Please keep in mind that deadlines internal to individual units will vary between now and June 16. Different units will have different processes and customized solutions depending on their individual needs. If you hear something happening in one area, it doesn't necessarily apply to your unit.

Meanwhile, I have charged the deans and vice presidents to continue working with their leadership groups and community members to develop or refine detailed solutions for any remaining target areas in their units. The deadline to deliver their proposals back to my office is now June 8. Below you will find the overarching content expectation for each of these proposals. The idea is to be sure to understand the targets, the way in which each unit, school, and college expects to meet those targets, the impacts if those targets are enacted, and a clear sense of priority to design our path forward.


Proposal Contents

  1. Statement of targets, expectations, and priorities
  2. Solutions – ways to complete targets
  3. Expected impacts


Once I have received the final budget drafts on June 8, I will begin to engage SRAC in discussions. Between June 8 and 16, I will schedule any meetings that may be necessary to explore questions that we see in the proposals. All these meetings will be completed by June 16.

At that point, I will be able to share the final FY24 budgets with each unit, school, and college ​and begin the process of uploading the budget into our systems. On July 1, we will begin a new fiscal year and start the budget planning process for FY25.

Budget results status (as of April 19, 2023)

We have now received some information on our VSIP and term faculty responses that I can share with you. Below are the updates on those categories:

Voluntary Separation Incentive Program

Of our 1,389 staff and administration, 205 were eligible for the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program. As of the deadline (April 14) for the first stage of this program, we had 120 people express interest.  This number represents 58.5% of the eligible population.

The staff and administration who expressed interest in the VSIP are spread across university divisions, colleges, and schools. There does not appear to be an overconcentration in any single unit. We expect that some from this list will choose not to complete the process. If we use historical data, we can expect between 50 and 60% of those individuals who expressed interest to complete the VSIP process.

If between 50 and 60% of those who expressed an interest in the VSIP program complete the process, we estimate between 60 and 72 people will retire or voluntarily leave the university under this program. This would reduce the budget by roughly $7 million dollars.

Each dean and vice president has already been informed about the eligible staff and administrators who reside in their areas and who have expressed interest in the VSIP. The next stage is to wait until June 8 to determine how many of those who are interested return their agreements and formalize the process.  

Term faculty

I can also report that out of 240 term faculty who have contracts with the university, six term faculty will not be reappointed for the 2023-24 academic year.

Decisions about contract renewals were made following joint discussions between the provost and deans, with direct input from department chairs and faculty. The colleges based their decisions on enrollment trends, teaching loads, and class scheduling.

Our students

Understandably, I have received many questions about how our budget process will affect our students. Last week, I met with multiple groups of students to directly address concerns. Provost Salma Ghanem, Vice President for Student Affairs Gene Zdziarski, and many other university leaders are actively engaging in discussions with students as well.
I will emphasize once again that throughout this entire process 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.
DePaul's financial aid program will not be affected. In fact, the proposed budget includes a 6% increase for institutional financial aid for FY24 over the prior year's budget. This proposed increase would bring the total of university dollars spent on financial aid to $301.3 million in the next fiscal year.
I am deeply grateful to every member of our university community who continues to help throughout this entire budget process. The incredibly difficult work we are doing now will ensure our future success, and we will get through th​is tumultuous time together.