III. Tackling the Budget Reductions
Over the last two fiscal years, the University’s state
support budget has been negatively impacted by more than $9.3 million.
In response, the University has reduced operating expenses by $3.1
million (33% of the total cut), reduced its fund balance by $2.6 million
(28%), and increased tuition to raise an additional $3.6 million in
The impact of the operating expense reduction has been
most significant in the following areas: workforce, facilities, and
travel. The total non-faculty workforce has been reduced by
more than 10%, and 31 positions have been eliminated.
Workloads for remaining staff have increased while salary levels have
remained stagnant, the result of which has been lower morale and a
higher turnover rate. Major reductions in facilities renewal funds
have caused the University to further defer maintenance projects.
Continued deferral of these projects will result in higher long-term
repair and replacement costs. In addition, travel budgets for all
academic and administrative functions, excluding admissions and teacher
education, have been cut by 50%. The growing demand of Maryland’s
students who wish to attend their public universities cannot be met if
reductions in workforce and operating budgets are not addressed.
Despite the aforementioned reductions, the University has
tried to preserve its academic excellence. The brunt of the impact
has been borne by support services. With increased enrollments,
decreased staff levels, and higher student expectations, maintaining the
quality of service to its students becomes ever more challenging.
Additional demands on general fund allocations will result in the
diminishment of instructional programs. Our ability to provide quality
higher education has been seriously compromised.
Salisbury University must have the flexibility to balance
continued cost-cutting measures with appropriate tuition increases.
Without that flexibility, it is unlikely that we can succeed in our
mission as a comprehensive university, one that provides a safe, quality
learning environment for our students.