PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State University President Elson S. Floyd Friday outlined a number of organizational changes, including college and departmental consolidations, which he said will allow the university to achieve $40 million in state-mandated budget cuts during the coming biennium while preserving the quality of the university’s academic and research programs.
 
Speaking at a public budget forum on campus, Floyd said such institutional initiatives, which include consolidation of two colleges and a number of departmental mergers and reorganizations, have largely grown out of ongoing discussions with WSU’s academic leadership, and should limit the Academic Affairs budget reduction university-wide to about $3.2 million.
 
“Pursuing a number of these organizational initiatives is the only viable strategy by which to avoid more disruptive cuts and program eliminations,” Floyd said.
 
“The first assumption we made is that we would to the extent possible hold our students harmless. And by that I mean the academic programs they decided to come to Washington State University to participate in, that they would remain here. And that was an important standard.
 
“The second standard is that we would protect as many people as we possibly could,” he said.
 

Major academic reorganizations outlined by Floyd included:

• Consolidation of the College of Sciences and College of Liberal Arts
• Consolidation of the Department of Natural Resource Sciences and the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences in the School for the Environment.
• Elimination of the doctoral degree in design and the establishment of the School for Design in Pullman from the Departments of Landscape Architecture, Interior Design and Architecture and Construction Management.
• Merging of the Department of Statistics and the Department of Mathematics.
• Reorganization of University Extension, which will be exempted from further budget reductions in FY 2012
As part of the plan, Floyd said, Intercollegiate Athletics will redirect part of its budget to assist in balancing the university budget, combining with reductions identified by work groups on branch campuses and other areas of the university, for an additional savings of $7.3 million.
 
Additionally, Floyd said changes in the distribution of facilities and administrative costs received as part of research grants will retain $5 million to offset the budget reduction, while increased tuition revenue will provide an additional offset of $2.5 million.
 
Submit feedback; see video
 
A copy of the memo Floyd distributed earlier this summer regarding the budget plan and a more detailed breakdown of the budget plan by area are available at http://budget.wsu.edu. Also available at that site is the Powerpoint presentation used by the president at Friday’s forum and a link through which members of the university community can submit feedback to the plan.
An archived videostream of Friday’s event is available at http://experience.wsu.edu.
The next budget forum will be held noon-1 p.m. Friday, Aug. 26, in the CUB auditorium.
Media contact:
Darin Watkins, WSU News, 509-335-4456, darin.watkins@wsu.edu