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July 20, 2012

Dr. Nick J. BrunoA message to ULM faculty and staff from ULM President Nick J. Bruno

Dear Colleagues,

It has been a while since I communicated with you regarding budget matters.  Dr. Pani provided faculty some insights in his biweekly blog as to the progress of ULM’s budget development.

I have met with the deans on several occasions as well as the vice presidents to discuss our strategy and develop the plan for FY2012-13.

You may have read the News-Star article where Senator Thompson and Representative Chaney have met to express their concerns regarding adequate funding for ULM and other universities who offer high cost programs, such as our fine arts, sciences, health sciences and pharmacy.  I appreciate their effort in understanding this issue and in raising awareness of the problem.

Over the last several weeks, Dr. Pani, Dr. Richters and I have conducted a thorough analysis of our funding as well as how the Board of Regents’ funding formula impacts our budget.

This analysis has brought considerable clarity regarding how Louisiana’s higher education funding formula operates.

The Board of Regents is mandated by the Louisiana Constitution to have a formula which equitably distributes funds to colleges and universities.  This is a difficult task as a result of the variation in role, scope and mission among higher education’s institutions.

I have had discussions with BOR staff including the commissioner, the UL System president and staff, fellow presidents and legislative leaders to present our findings.  I have found all have listened, and I am confident an equitable solution will be found, even in this time of declining revenues. 

Our immediate task, however, is to meet the challenges this current budget poses.  Unfortunately, after multiple reductions over recent years, each additional decrease becomes harder to address.

The deans and vice presidents are working very hard to minimize the impact on our employees, but unfortunately some positions may be lost in order for us to achieve a balanced budget.

Despite all of these challenges, your teaching, research, service to students and community, job performance and dedication to this great university remains exceptional, and I want you to know that I both appreciate and admire your professionalism. 

The financial news has not been positive for quite some time; however, I am optimistic better times are ahead.  I will continue to work tirelessly to promote ULM, seek opportunities for ULM to grow, and diligently support your work.

As I did last year, during University Week, I will present the budget report as well as a state of the university address.

You will receive specific information about this meeting in the near future, and I encourage you to attend the meeting if you can so that you are informed about this important topic.

Thank you for all you do for ULM.  

ULM First!

 

Sincerely,

Nick J. Bruno, Ph.D.
President