Sept. 23, 2010

Salary increases, flood recovery are part of FY12 budget planning

by Anne Krapfl

New revenue from additional entrepreneurial efforts, flexibility in anticipating state funding and an "aggressive plan to enhance faculty and P&S salaries" are top goals as the university begins to develop an operating budget for the year that begins July 1, 2011.

Executive vice president and provost Elizabeth Hoffman, whose office coordinates budget planning, posted her first memo (PDF) on the FY12 budget development process on Sept. 16. In addition to goals for the FY12 budget, it includes a summary of state appropriation requests approved last week by the state Board of Regents and a budget development timeline (PDF).

Goals to guide FY12 budget development

Hoffman outlined these goals for the university community in the FY12 budget (order doesn't indicate priority):

  • Create stronger communication channels among all units involved in student admissions. Link institutional and college-level enrollment goals and targets
  • Continue to monitor and develop intentional and creative undergraduate student retention strategies
  • Enhance research activity and the indirect cost revenue that results from careful allocation of resources
  • Plan for a range of possible funding levels from state appropriations
  • Explore additional entrepreneurial activities that will provide alternate sources of revenue and are consistent with strategic goals
  • Pursue an aggressive plan to enhance faculty and P&S salaries and balance that with employee benefit plans and the anticipated cost increases
  • Focus energy and attention on flood recovery efforts. Maximize FEMA and insurance reimbursements to the extent possible

She said the process of developing the university's budget requires participation from all ranks and corners of campus, including deans, vice presidents, department chairs, unit directors, budget advisory committees, the Faculty Senate, P&S Council, faculty and staff.

New strategic plan is a driving force

In her memo, Hoffman also reminded the university community of the 2010-15 strategic plan (which also received regents' approval last week) and the importance of maximizing revenues, monitoring costs and watching for opportunities for greater efficiency in order to have funds available for the top priorities in that plan.

"Academic excellence and program quality are the bedrock of Iowa State's mission and values," she wrote. "Interdisciplinary approaches to teaching, outreach and research are key ways to achieve that excellence and quality."

Up next

Hoffman's next budget memo likely will be posted in early December. Through fall semester, budget work will focus on developing preliminary student enrollment projections for the 2011-12 academic year and a policy on salary increases. Budget planners also await the outcomes of the Iowa revenue estimating conferences, scheduled for mid-October and early December. A three-member appointed team meets three times a year to estimate state revenues for both the current and following fiscal years.

A preliminary FY12 budget will be sent to the regents office in early April; the board will be asked to approve a final budget in June.