Dear Members of the Nicholls Family:
Yesterday I provided you with what information I had available concerning the budget for fiscal year 2009-2010, which we officially begin today. Later in the day, Dr. Randy Moffett provided me with the first set of figures indicating the scope of our budget cut, and I can now report that the reduction figure Dr. Moffett provided is approximately $3 million, or 8.6% of last year’s state funding. Including our midyear budget reduction, the total reduction from the beginning of 2008-2009 is a little over $4.4 million or 12.3% of state funding.
We will now begin the allocation process for the new year. However, most of the changes made as a result of the budget reductions will remain in place. We have a commitment of $1.1 million to pay the faculty that were given a one year notice because their program was eliminated. We plan to eliminate any furloughs mainly because Nicholls was the only institution in the system that did not have money last year to provide pay increases for faculty or staff. Also, since everyone will be asked to do more, we do not want them to do it for less and in less time. We also have areas such as insurance, contracts and utilities that will be increased without any increase in funding to cover them.
As we begin this new year, there are a few points I wish to address. The first is that the process that we just went through was neither pleasant nor university-initiated, but it was something that we had to do in order to protect the integrity of Nicholls State University. As a result, some campus offices today are staffed with fewer and different people than they were yesterday. To those who are no longer with us, I offer them my sincere best wishes. I also join the rest of the campus in thanking them for their dedicated service to Nicholls during their tenure. We wish them well as they seek new opportunities.
To those who have moved to different positions on campus, I also wish you success in your new position. While your former co-workers will miss you, you have an opportunity to continue making valuable contributions to our success in pursuing the educational mission of Nicholls State University. I hope that you find satisfaction in your new role.
Finally, I want to stress that this is not a time for any of us to turn away from our commitment to this university. While we do hear talk of additional cuts to higher education in the near future, we must go about our daily work in pursuit of excellence in educating our students and in serving our region. I want you to know that my commitment to this university is just as strong and my hope for its future is just as positive as the day that I arrived and assumed its presidency six years ago. While the challenges may be greater and the future somewhat uncertain, I want to join each of you in making Nicholls the best regional institution that it can possibly become. We owe the students and the people of this region nothing less.
Stephen T. Hulbert