Message from the President on Budget Reallocation
To the University Community:
University of the Pacific is entering a period of transformation that will bring exciting new opportunities along with significant challenges. Our powerful strategic plan, Pacific 2020, positions us to become one of the finest teaching-focused universities in California, where quality programs and student success build a reputation for greatness across our academic offerings.
It is time to align our resources with this vision. The strategies outlined in Pacific 2020 will require at least $15 million in initial investments, perhaps more. Yesterday I asked the Institutional Priorities Committee (IPC) to help me develop a plan to reallocate resources from the University's base budget in order to create a $15 million strategic investment pool. This will be a University-wide commitment to Pacific's future. Reallocations will take effect in FY 2015 and FY 2016, giving us time to plan carefully.
Reallocations will be made thoughtfully. They will mean reducing or eliminating some activities, while using the investment fund to steer resources into activities that directly support Pacific 2020. This is not a University-wide budget cut, but it is a strategic reallocation of some resources in order to carry out the ambitious plans that will help Pacific serve students and thrive into the future. We must focus our efforts and resources around what we do best, and around achieving our goals. We must also be wise stewards of our students' hard-earned tuition dollars and our donors' gifts. This means keeping tuition increases modest and making hard choices about what to keep, what to invest in, and what to stop doing.
One exception will be the McGeorge School of Law, which will implement a FY 2014 budget reduction instead of a phased reallocation. McGeorge will rescale operations in response to a national softening of demand for JD degrees. Applications at McGeorge are down 30% from this time last year, following a similar decline in applications from 2011 to 2012. The law school is responding to enrollment challenges with creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit, and I am confident they will make the curricular and operational transformations they need to succeed.
Engagement by the University community is essential to having a well-considered plan for the reallocations. Over the next five weeks, I will work with the Cabinet, IPC and Deans to develop initial concepts for the framework and processes for the reallocations. I will solicit feedback from students, faculty and staff regarding this draft so that I can announce the reallocation plan in August. The unit leaders will then develop their own plans for my approval in the fall. A summary of the timeline follows:
March 25, 2013 Draft Reallocation Plan for campus response
Aug. 2013 President announces Reallocation Plan
Fall 2013 Unit-based reallocation plans developed by Vice Presidents and Deans
Nov. 2013 Unit reallocation plans submitted for President's approval
July 1, 2014 Reallocations in place for non-academic units and some initiated by Academic Division
July 1, 2015 Reallocations completed for Academic Division
With our $15 million strategic investment fund, we will offer programs that students want based on their reputation for quality and value. We will build on our strength in health-related programs, but continue to embrace our liberal arts core and other professional offerings. We will expand the students we serve to include adult learners, offering relevant degree programs that leverage our three cities and technology. Pacific will integrate career planning into every student's education right from the start, whether they are studying finance or fine arts. We will ensure that our students' relationship with the University is lifelong, fostering the support that will give us strength in perpetuity. And we will offer our faculty and staff the professional development they need to thrive in a new higher ed environment.
I want to emphasize that we are not in financial crisis - though we could be if we do not act swiftly to accommodate the new realities of higher education. We will not cut to the bone, and we will not change who we are. As a matter of fact, we will be more "Pacific" than ever. We will continue to be superb and caring teachers with a highly-personalized focus on individual students. We will continue offering an extraordinary education informed by the richness of the liberal arts and the power of professional education. And we will continue to prepare every graduate to be a critical and creative thinker, an excellent communicator and a principled global citizen. Our reallocations will leave us very well positioned to bring the Pacific experience to generations of students to come.
I pledge to communicate honestly, widely and often as we work through the reallocation process together. IPC will hold a budget forum on Tuesday, February 26, from 3-5 pm in Grace Covell Hall on the Stockton campus to discuss the FY 2014 budget and the reallocation process for FY 2015 and FY 2016. Cabinet members and I will attend the first hour of the session to answer your questions. I will also keep you informed of our progress through future forums in our three cities, regular communications in the Pacific Insider e-newsletter and updates on my website at Pacific.edu/president.
Ours will be an exceptional future, if we start working together right now to achieve our goals. I thank you for the hard work you do every day as part of the Pacific community, and I thank you for the even harder work we are about to do to ensure our University stays strong.