Looking to the Future
Looking to the Future
"I want to share that, as of today, our intention is to hold classes on campus in the fall, following guidance from public health officials." — Chancellor Venkat Reddy
Dear UCCS faculty and staff,
Let me first thank you for your hard work and determination this semester as you took on the extraordinary challenges caused by COVID-19.
The number one question I have been receiving is, “What are we doing with the fall semester?” I want to share that, as of today, our intention is to hold classes on campus in the fall, following guidance from public health officials among other things. While we aim to be on campus this fall, that doesn’t mean we know yet exactly what that will look like.
To answer the question of how we do this, we have created a Recovery Team. This team includes almost 50 people from across our campus who are working to make recommendations on what an on-campus experience looks like with the safety of our students, faculty and staff as the number one priority. Our goal is to make a final determination on the fall semester, including on-campus housing, by early June.
There is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the university’s budget and the impact we have all experienced recently.
The bulk of the university’s total revenue comes from three sources – student tuition and fees (50%; 70% of general fund revenue), state funding (12%) and auxiliaries (21%). As we don’t know what enrollment and the state budget look like yet, we are currently creating scenarios for all possibilities of budget cuts – from best case to worst case, ranging from -5% to -20% of total revenues. Some answers will come soon as the State Joint Budget Committee started meeting again this week and the CU Board of Regents meet again on May 19.
These budget cut scenarios identify areas where we can balance our budget by tapping into financial reserves, identifying open positions that will not be filled and limiting travel costs. With 68% of our annual operating budget being salary and benefits, it’s inevitable that furloughs and layoffs must be considered in the scenarios of higher budget cut levels.
You may have seen a recent announcement from the CU System describing a 10% temporary furlough for senior administrators, including the president, vice presidents and chancellors, effective July 1. As a campus leadership team, we have made the decision to extend those furloughs to all individuals designated as officers in their offer letters which includes vice chancellors, the provost, associate vice chancellors and deans among others.
On the general fund side, the decision to expand personnel reductions or furloughs will be made by end of May after the state and regent decisions.
Our auxiliary services include operations like housing, dining and events – all which have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. The auxiliary leadership team is working diligently to determine the best way to proceed in the current business environment including personnel reductions or furloughs.
I have been asked what faculty and staff can do to help. Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Please stay informed. You should have been invited to our next Town Hall on May 21, which I hope you will attend. We will continue to provide regular email updates.
- All of us should think about and help in innovative ways around student recruitment and retention, because the more students who attend classes in the fall, the more students we can help succeed and the fewer cuts we will endure. Continue to provide the best experience possible for our current and incoming students and make sure those in your circle of influence who are considering college are aware of the opportunities at UCCS.
- Please continue to be patient and understanding. We are in extraordinary times, so offer us ideas on how we can manage and contain our expenses at the same time exploring ways of generating new revenues.
UCCS isn’t the same without seeing you on campus. Your health and safety continue to be our number one priority, but we know everyone is looking forward to reestablishing their routines, on campus and at home. It will take all of us working together to get through these trying times.
Stay Mountain Lion strong,