William and Mary Interim President W. Taylor Reveley, III, sent the following message to the campus community Friday regarding the state budget picture and recent news from the governor's office.
Dear William & Mary Community,
Yesterday the Commonwealth's Secretary of Finance, Jody M. Wagner, provided preliminary year-end revenue numbers to the Governor. While Virginia met its revenue estimates for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2008, Secretary Wagner warned that a continuing slump in the economy is likely to result in "significant downward adjustments to the revenue estimates."
As a result, the Governor's Chief of Staff placed a hiring freeze on state agencies and told them to stop nonessential spending. Institutions of higher education were not covered by these directives, but the Commonwealth will probably reduce its financial support for all state agencies, including colleges and universities, early in this fiscal year.
As you know, the College has already absorbed a $2.7 million reduction in base state support. At this point, we do not know what further cuts will be required. But our senior staff will gather Monday to discuss how we might prepare for them.
When the Governor and Secretary of Finance appear before the General Assembly on August 18, they will likely release revised revenue estimates and may identify actions to bring the Commonwealth's operating budget into balance.
We will keep you informed as new information becomes available.