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President Announces Plans To Address Serious Financial Challenges

May 14, 2008

Strategies to address the FY09 deficit

Expense reductions

1. Reduce the Central Strategic Investment Fund - UNH must make strategic investments for the future, even in times of financial stress. The FY09 allocation of $800,000 for such investments has been reduced to $400,000.

2. Institute a hiring freeze - As announced on May 8, UNH has invoked a hiring freeze for all non grant-funded, benefits-eligible faculty and staff positions. Though difficult, this step is essential given the size of the deficit projected in FY09 and beyond. A mechanism has been developed to consider case by case exceptions to the freeze, ensuring that vital operations will be maintained; the administration expects exceptions to be rare.

3. Achieve targeted expense reductions - Staff members from the offices of Vice President Dick Cannon and Provost Bruce Mallory are currently working with each unit to improve their FY09 budget positions. Each unit is being asked to commit to specific revenue enhancement and expense reduction strategies for FY09. All units (administrative, academic, research and auxiliary) are participating in this process.

4. Work with USNH to reduce administrative costs
UNH has been working with the USNH Chancellor’s office to reduce the scheduled increases in UNH central service payments and will continue to seek cost savings and efficiencies in System operations wherever possible.

FY09 Revenue goals

1. Ensure strong undergraduate enrollments for fall, 2008 - The university’s financial structure is based on strong, stable enrollments. Vice President Mark Rubinstein is working with offices and departments across the University to monitor and optimize enrollment for both new and continuing students.

2. Develop a contingency plan to respond to a possible shortfall in state funding - Reports from the state indicate that a significant budgetary shortfall exists and may continue for several years. The state budget woes may have an impact on the funding UNH receives from the state. If funding to UNH is affected, we will need to consider a range of actions to bridge the gap, including additional tuition increases. We will work with USNH and the USNH Board of Trustees on appropriate contingency plans.

Strategies to address the ongoing “structural” deficit

Expense Reductions

1. Control medical costs - Medical insurance costs have grown by 14% or more annually over the past few years, a trend that threatens to continue. UNH cannot afford this level of increase on what is already a $30 million expense item. Vice President Cannon will organize and lead a UNH Health Care Task Force comprised of faculty and staff to work with USNH to identify more effective cost containment strategies.

2. Achieve administrative cost reduction - UNH will conduct a thorough review of central administrative services and will seek to increase efficiency and consolidate operations where possible and appropriate. All units funded via the General Assessment will be reviewed. Opportunities to partner with USNH for services will be examined.

3. Targeted program/service reductions - UNH will look carefully at all programs and services to ensure that each one fits within the mission of UNH and that benefits justify costs. Academic units already undergo program reviews at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Similar reviews will be undertaken with administrative units. More generally, a process allowing inter-unit comparison and priority-setting will be developed.

4. Increase energy conservation efforts - UNH is a nationally recognized leader in sustainability and energy conservation. As the cost of energy continues to rise, however, we need to redouble our efforts. The UNH Energy Task Force (ETF) will focus on behavioral, cultural, and policy changes as well as capital investments to reduce energy costs. Payback periods will vary. Our initial target is a 5% cost reduction per year.

Revenue Goals

1. Significantly increase institutional advancement efforts - It is essential that UNH positions itself to increase private giving —for current use, endowment, and capital projects. This will involve major investments in our advancement infrastructure, particularly in the UNH Foundation and the Alumni Association, as well as significant changes in our expectations and in our institutional culture.

2. Maximize the use of our physical assets to generate additional revenue - UNH will form a workgroup in the fall of 2008 to begin discussions on maximizing revenue during periods of time when the campus is not fully utilized – winter break, spring break, summer, Fridays, weeknights, weekends, etc. This effort will require involvement of all areas of campus.

3. Employ information technology solutions where possible to increase net revenue - The Steering Committee on Information Technology (SCIT) at UNH will work with the UNH community to identify how we can deploy information technology to conduct our core activities—academic and administrative—in ways that are more effective and cost-efficient.

4. Consider changing the academic calendar to increase enrollment capacity - The Faculty Senate, Deans’ Council and Provost’s Office will work to identify alternatives to the current academic calendar (two semesters with summer session) to increase teaching and learning opportunities, use our assets more productively, and expand our capacity to serve students.

5. Develop professional graduate programs - Provost Mallory will work with the Deans’ Council to identify opportunities to develop new and enhance existing professional graduate programs, especially those that can generate additional net tuition revenue.

6. Strategically increase sponsored research activity - The Blue Ribbon Panel on Research is currently developing recommendations to enhance the research enterprise at UNH. In the context of our financial challenges, we will pay particular attention to the Commission’s proposals for facilitating the growth of extramurally sponsored research.

7. Develop a strategic undergraduate enrollment plan - To achieve our mission of providing an outstanding undergraduate educational experience, UNH needs to ensure that we attract the right students interested in enrolling in the right programs at the right price. This, in turn, requires that we develop and follow a strategic enrollment plan that reflects a robust and integrated approach to recruitment, pricing, and financial aid management.

8. Increase intellectual property licensing revenue - UNH has entered the intellectual property marketplace, increasing its revenue from $11,000 in FY97 to over $200,000 in FY07. While a good start, this is significantly less than comparator institutions realize. UNH needs to increase this revenue stream considerably. The Interim Vice President for Research will develop and submit a plan to accomplish this objective, including any required investments and the likely return on those investments.


 


 


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