Office of the Chancellor
Budget process concerning, NCAA success heartening
Budget raises concerns as strategic planning and branding work forges ahead.
Spring Break has come and gone, and we are in the transitional doldrums of March. As I look out the window, there is simultaneous shining of sun and falling of snow - only in Superior, except for maybe Iceland! I hope that you were able to decompress some, warm in the sun, or romp in the snow. I know that several of you were helping to expand the experiences of our students by taking them on short trips. I spent part of the week in Arizona on visits to alumni and to see the Yellowjacket baseball team trounce California Lutheran University. I was able also to connect with several members of our Board of Regents.
Of greatest concern at the moment is the status of the Governor's proposed budget. During the week prior to Spring break, members of the Joint Finance Committee received briefings. There are several important points concerning the budget for you to understand. Because of the way that the budget has been packaged, ANY cut - including a cut in what is the $89.4 million "block grant" portion - is a cut directly to the UW System campuses. In the block grant portion, for instance, there are adjustments in fringe benefits which normally would be included in "cost to continue". There is concern that a lack of general understanding of the structure of the budget makes it tempting for some people to instigate rescissions. Should your personal associations reach toward people who can assist the budget process positively, please make certain to your contacts that this message is understood.
We are in the process of marshaling efforts for advocacy. I have written a letter to the Governor which you can see here. We are leveraging our Foundation and Alumni boards, our local business connections, and several key alumni to advocate on our behalf. We have drafted a template letter which can be used by constituents and can be found at the same site, http://www.uwsuper.edu/chancellor/communications/legislative-communication.cfm .
Stephen Reno, the consultant who will assist us with our strategic planning work, will be here this coming Monday, April 1 (yes, no fooling) to spend the day getting to know the campus and helping to craft initial process plans. He will be meeting with small groups of faculty, staff, and students, the CIPT, some key alumni, and community members. I want to reiterate that coming off of the HLC visit has put us in a tremendously positive position for strategic planning. It is our opportunity to shape our future, to be bold, and to craft a vision which will inspire others as well as ourselves.
Our branding campaign, Unleash Your Superior Side, kicked off officially on Monday, the 25th. You will see a series of billboards along I-35, in Duluth and Superior, and in several areas of the Twin Cities. Changes to the look and feel of the admissions web page are being made. Eventually, this theme will pervade all of our materials.
A round of thanks goes out to all who helped to make our hosting of the NCAA Women's Hockey Championship an overwhelming success. We have had much nice feedback from players, friends, families of players, and from the NCAA staff.
Next week is the April Board of Regents meeting which will take place in La Crosse.
Let's hope atmospheric Spring arrives soon!Renée
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