President's Update on Meredith's 2009-10 Budget
To the Meredith Community:
At the outset of the budget development process this year, I made a commitment to keeping it as open and transparent as possible. As part of this commitment, the college-wide budget committee held two budget forums earlier today to seek input and constructive criticism from faculty, staff and students on our work to date.
As you reflect on the facts and figures we shared with you today, it is important to note that Meredith’s overall financial picture remains solid. Since 2005, we have been aggressively pursuing our strategic vision to become a nationally recognized women’s college. We have completed the most successful campaign in Meredith’s history, raising more than $41.5 million, made strategic investments in a student housing complex and a new athletics facility, expanded our international studies program, added successful new graduate programs and made significant progress toward bringing faculty and staff salaries to the median of peer institutions. The steps we proposed today will allow Meredith to achieve a balanced budget for 2009-10 without tapping into our reserves so that we will remain strong.
On behalf of the budget committee, I thank all of you who were able to attend today for the thoughtful questions you asked, the passion you exhibited for Meredith and the creative ideas you shared.
To ensure that anyone who was not able to attend has equal access to the information, I felt it important to summarize what was presented during the campus forums.
We shared in broad strokes our estimates of revenue, priorities for budget increases, and ideas for budget reductions. At this point in the budget development process, the budget committee is projecting that revenue for 2009-10 will be slightly less than the revenues outlined in the final 2008-09 budget.
Priorities and Existing Requirements on the 2009-10 Budget
Timeline and Next Steps
The budget committee will continue to meet for the next several weeks to consider your input, review additional data, refine our projections and prepare the final budget that will be presented to the Board of Trustees for approval in early June. On April 17, in two additional campus forums, the budget committee will present this budget to the Meredith community.
In the meantime, you are again invited to share your thoughts and ideas with me or other members of the committee: Jane Barnes, Kristi Eaves-McLennan, Susan Fisher, Cindy Godwin, Anne Henderson, Jean Jackson, Emily King, Lori Miller, Allen Page, Nicole Pulley and Bill Wade.
These are difficult conversations to have as a campus and difficult decisions for the budget team to make. Just as Meredith has endured countless other challenges in its 110-year history, our thoughtful decision making will help ensure that the College remains in a strong position to endure the challenges that the global economic situation presents.
Maureen A. Hartford
Posted March 13, 2009.
Date Submitted: 2009-03-13