Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Town hall discussion to focus on U-M general fund budget

Provost Teresa Sullivan and Vice Provost Phil Hanlon are reminding staff members about a town hall meeting from 9-11 a.m. Monday in Rackham Auditorium to discuss the U-M general fund budget situation.

For more background about the general fund, read University of Michigan Funding: A Snapshot.

“We know members of the university community have questions and concerns about the University of Michigan’s financial situation, given ongoing news of the state’s difficult economic situation and reports of drastic measures being taken at many universities across the country,” Sullivan wrote in an e-mail being sent to staff.

The town hall will focus on the current financial situation, challenges ahead and steps being taken to meet those challenges. The budget presentation is similar to what Sullivan and Hanlon have shared with faculty, staff and student groups throughout the fall term. In all, they have spoken to more than 25 groups since September.

“Fortunately, the U-M is in reasonably sound financial shape, thanks to prudent financial management and effective cost containment efforts that have been under way since 2002,” Sullivan noted.

“Nevertheless, we anticipate that the next few years will bring additional financial challenges to the university. To remain vibrant and strong during this period, the U-M will have to move even more aggressively on efficiency efforts. We have been planning for the challenges ahead and already have launched a number of campus-wide initiatives aimed at strategic areas of cost containment and revenue enhancement.”

The general fund budget supports the university’s core educational enterprise and is separate from self-supporting auxiliary units that pay their own way. The U-M Health System, Intercollegiate Athletics, Student Housing, Parking & Transportation Services and Student Publications are examples of auxiliary units.