Over the last month there has been considerable discussion among the deans, Vice Presidents, Provost, and President of how WSU will handle its budget cuts. You may have seen some discussion of this in the local newspapers last week, including this one in The Daily Evergreen. These discussions have been based on the plans all deans and vice presidents submitted for how they would deal with cuts of up to 20%. Our college's plan was developed by assembling plans from the different units across the college.
I do not have anything to report yet about specific cuts, but wanted to make a few general comments as to where things stand.
July 1 will be here before we know it. Thus, because implementing budget cuts will require some time to plan ahead, the President and Provost will announce budget cuts before the legislature acts on a final budget for the university. Accordingly, decisions will be made in the context of several assumptions about what the university's budget will be. These assumptions include that the legislature will cut four-year institutions of higher education by 18% and that this will be partially offset by a larger-than-usual tuition increase (tuition has been going up 7% a year the past few years) -- how much larger is not yet known. Given the assumptions as I understand them, the specific budget cuts announced will probably be pretty close, but will represent best-case scenarios. If the legislature ultimately cuts more than assumed or if tuition goes up less than assumed, for example, the specific budget cuts that will be announced will have to be adjusted upward. (This article in the Tacoma News Tribune is the best analysis of the state's budget situation that I have seen lately. The next revenue forecast is to be released tomorrow. I'll watch for an analysis and then use a future blog post to point you to anything I think worthwhile.)
I do not know when specific budget cuts for the different colleges will be announced. Several things have to happen as the decisions are finalized, including discussion and input with the Board of Regents, the University Budget Committee, and the Faculty Senate, among others. I do know that when decisions are ready, they will all be announced at once so that information doesn't dribble out. I expect a few days warning of when the decisions will be announced. At that time I will update you as to the specific timetable for announcements.
Then, once the decision about the CVM's budget cut is announced, specific budget cuts within the college will be finalized and communicated in short order.
Sorry I cannot be more definitive at this time, but I wanted you to know that things are moving ahead and you'll know more before too long.