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UMass President Announces Actions To Manage State Budget Reduction, Pledges To Protect The Excellence Of The University's Academic Programs


BOSTON- In response to Governor Patrick's announcement of 9C cuts, University of Massachusetts President Jack M. Wilson today announced actions that the University is taking to manage the reduction in its operating budget appropriation from the state.


"The administration's announcement of 9C budget reductions present significant challenges to the University of Massachusetts," said President Wilson. "The Chancellors and I understand that this action is necessary and agree that we can manage this reduction, but it will not be easy.  We are fully committed to protecting the excellence of our academic programs and the student experience as well as our ability to serve the state and the nation as one of the nation's great public research universities. I am confident that our Chancellors will make the right decisions for their campuses and lead our campus communities through them," he continued.


"The Trustees are confident that President Wilson and the Chancellors will work hard to maintain the positive momentum that they have achieved for the University of Massachusetts.  Students, parents, businesses, non-profits and state officials depend on UMass to provide the education, research, and public service that will lead our state to a prosperous future," said Robert J. Manning, Chairman of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees.


The University of Massachusetts was informed that its FY09 state appropriation will be reduced by five percent.  Each campus is in the process of planning how it will manage through this challenge.  President Wilson has announced that the President's Office will achieve savings through the reduction of workforce and the further consolidation of services and facilities.  President Wilson has determined that a significant number of the staff currently housed in downtown Boston office space will be relocated to University space in Shrewsbury-reducing the footprint downtown from 32,000 total square feet to 8,000.


Assuming there are no additional 9C cuts, the University will not request mid-year fee increases, nor will it make cuts to student financial aid, which President Wilson, the Chancellors and the Trustees have targeted as an area for strategic investment.  Other actions are being considered and will be discussed and evaluated with the Chancellors and Board of Trustees over the coming weeks and months as the full budget picture emerges and the University is able to analyze the impact of the base budget reductions to the next fiscal year's budget.


"With much effort, the University can manage through this reduction in revenue without a fee increase at this time," President Wilson said.  "We may not have the same flexibility in the future if we are to maintain our strong commitment to student financial aid and other strategic priorities." 


Libby DeVecchi



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