Budget Update

12/07/09

To All Faculty and Staff,

In my September 1st memo to the Campus Community, I informed you of a roughly $13 million campus financial plan deficit brought about largely by state fund reductions. As economic conditions continue their negative impacts on New York State revenues, Governor Paterson took a step toward addressing a potential $3 billion current-year budget shortfall by imposing spending limits (essentially a budget cut) totaling $500 million state-wide, $90 million of which applies to SUNY. We have been officially notified that Stony Brook's share of these cuts will be $8.6 million in this fiscal year (growing to between $11 and 12 million in 2010-11) for a total 09-10 budget gap approximating $21 million.

After consultation with the University Council and the Budget Working Group (Provost Kaler and other senior administrators), I am announcing the imposition of a hiring freeze on administrative positions only, effective immediately. This hiring freeze includes all non-faculty positions, full and part-time, supported by the following funds: State Operating, Income Fund Reimbursable, SUTRA, Research Indirect Cost Return, Royalty accounts and Stony Brook
Foundation unrestricted funds. Regarding searches in progress, unless a formal letter of offer was issued by December 4th, all search activity should be halted.

Student employment is not subject to this freeze. Positions and other commitments charged to direct research grants and contracts, Residence Hall Fund (DIFR), the University Hospital, Long Island State Veterans Home and the Dental Clinic are exempt from the freeze and actions listed below. These funds are excused because they are self-supporting programs, separate and distinct from the State budget, with use of revenue essentially restricted to the fund's specific purpose. Freezing these accounts would provide no benefit or relief to the State budget crisis.

I am also announcing expenditure restrictions against non-salary budgets in the funds indicated above as follows:

  • All equipment purchases (defined as items costing $5,000 and above) require review and approval by the appropriate Dean or Vice President.
  • No new consultant contracts are permitted without approval of the Budget Working Group.
  • All travel expenditures must be approved by the appropriate Dean or Vice President. Travel arrangements that have already been made and are non-refundable may be completed.
  • Overtime will be carefully monitored and shall be restricted whenever possible.
  • Payments for work outside of current responsibilities, both via temporary salary increases or extra service payments, must be approved by the appropriate Dean or Vice President, and should be limited to the greatest degree possible. Promotions should not be processed based only on the need to add responsibilities.
  • Use of outside legal counsel is prohibited without approval of the Budget Working Group.
  • All temporary agency hiring must cease. Existing arrangements with temporary agency staff must be rejustified to the appropriate Dean or Vice President with only the most critical appointments allowed to continue.

Although we expect very few exceptions to these expenditure limitations, there will be cases where it is in the institution's best interest to proceed with a commitment. Certainly positions for which not hiring would create health and safety concerns will be candidates for an exception. All appeals must be approved first by the appropriate Dean and/or Vice President before consideration by the Budget Working Group. Budget Director Mark Maciulaitis will be
the key administrator for channeling requests to the Budget Working Group.

We will strive to meet the budgetary constraints while doing the least possible harm to the academic and research programs. The above conditions will remain in place until the budget picture for 2010-11 is clear. At that time, I hope to return to our traditional decentralized budget management practices. I greatly appreciate your support as we deal with these very difficult times.

Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., M.D.
President

 

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