A Message from Chancellor William E.
Kirwan to the USM Community
August 26, 2009
With the national recession continuing to weaken Maryland's
fiscal situation, the Board of Public Works today approved Governor Martin O'Malley's
recommended cut of $454 million to the state's FY 2010 budget. The University
System of Maryland's share of the reduction includes a transfer of $20 million
from our fund balance to the state. It also includes a $10 million reduction to
our state-appropriated funds, which will require eliminating vacant positions
as well as decreasing funds for facilities renewal, student financial aid, and
In addition, the statewide budget action includes temporary salary reductions (for FY 2010 only) for state employees. For USM,
this action totals $26 million, which we will accomplish through a tiered
furlough plan and other salary adjustments. While we are still formulating
details, I am confident that our actions will mirror the approach we took last
year to mitigate the impact on employees at lower salary levels.
This latest round of cuts to our FY 2010 budget, following
the $37.7 million reduction
announced last month, brings USM's total FY
2010 reduction to nearly $94 million.
Fortunately, state officials have granted USM
flexibility in handling the reductions. Our ability to use our fund balance,
while maintaining it at a level needed to protect our financial stability, is
allowing the university system to mitigate somewhat the impact of the
However, there is no escaping the fact that these
cuts-especially the temporary salary
reductions and decreases in student aid-come at a very difficult time for our
employees and the students we serve. While we understand that the university
system must share in the sacrifices being made statewide, these reductions will
be painful for individuals and a challenge for the entire university system as
we work to advance access, affordability, and excellence.
Please know that the USM
Board of Regents and leaders across the system appreciate all that you do on
behalf of the state's public higher education system. Your dedication and commitment
have helped to position USM as a national
model of excellence, effectiveness, and efficiency. As a community, we will get
through these tough economic times.