President Taylor Reveley sent the following message to faculty and staff on Aug. 29, 2014. - Ed.
Governor McAuliffe recently announced that the state’s updated revenue projections show an additional shortfall of $882 million over the next two years. This comes after the state has already dealt with a projected $1.55 billion shortfall in its 2014-2016 biennial budget by eliminating anticipated new spending, including new support for William & Mary and other state colleges and universities.
As a result of this second revenue shortfall, the governor has told state agencies and institutions that they will receive less state support in both fiscal year (FY) 2015, which began on July 1, and FY 2016. William & Mary’s main campus expects to lose 5% ($2,043,206) in the current year, increasing to 7% ($2 ,846,770) in FY 2016, while our marine science campus, VIMS, will lose 2.5% ($455,094) in the current year, increasing to 3.5% ($637,365) in FY 2016. The governor has left each institution largely free to determine how best to absorb the cuts. Although we can take some one-time actions to generate savings in the current year, we must make permanent base reductions in our state support, or generate offsetting revenue, by FY 2016. This year state support will amount to approximately 12% of W&M’s budget. We don’t anticipate the cuts will require jarring or major adjustments.
As you know, we have made great progress over the past several years in building a new financial future for the university, one much less dependent on state support than in years past. This has included adopting the William & Mary Promise, which generates more revenue through in-state tuition while providing more financial aid for Virginia students, as well as enabling significant merit-based salary increases for faculty and staff. It also includes materially enhancing our capacity to raise philanthropic support for William & Mary, while working on campus to find new ways to cut costs or reduce their increase as we simultaneously add faculty, staff, and operating funds to recognize the impact of enrollment growth and strengthen international, career service, and other programs.
I’ll report again when we know more.