Dear UHD Faculty and Staff,
The Texas Legislature is now in regular session through May 29, 2017. Barring a special-called session to extend the legislature’s work, Texas public universities should know in a few weeks the level of state support they can expect over the next two years.
As a result of recent financial trends, and in no small part those related to energy prices, the current legislative session has proven to be a challenging one in terms of budget. The House and Senate have each passed appropriation bills that are in the process of being reconciled by a conference committee, made up of members from both chambers.
While we remain hopeful of a positive outcome, it is prudent that we prepare for something less than that. It is for this reason that I have directed the vice presidents to begin examining their budgets for areas where reductions could be made, should it come to that. Specifically, I have asked that they identify ways we could reduce academic budgets by 3 percent and non-academic budgets by 4 percent.
In evaluating possible reductions, every effort will be made to protect that funding which most directly supports the institutional priorities articulated in UHD’s strategic plan.
This precautionary exercise should not be taken as an indicator that significant budget reductions are inevitable. In fact, similar budget-examinations are going on at public universities across the state, including at our three sister universities within the UH System. In many respects, UHD is in a good position to deal with the changes to higher education funding now being considered by the legislature. With that said, we need to be prepared for a wide range of possible budgetary scenarios.
Thank you for your cooperation in this effort. I will provide further updates on our FY2018 funding picture as events unfold.
Dr. Juan Sánchez Muñoz, UHD President