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Your faculty and staff news since 1965
February 14, 2005
Volume 40, Number 7

President's Update

Budget Summit to help with plans, decisions

By Louis Caldera

CalderaAs we head into the home stretch of the 2005 New Mexico legislative session, it is time for UNM to begin its own budget-setting process.

UNM’s recommendations for tuition, fees and major expense allocations, including compensation, has to be formulated in a few weeks so that we can submit a budget approved by the Board of Regents to the Commission on Higher Education by May 1.

In order for the university to make the wisest budget decisions possible, I am again calling students, faculty and staff together for a campuswide budget summit on Friday, April 1. The summit begins at 1 p.m. in SUB, ballroom C. The goals of the process remain the same as last year:

  • To inform ourselves about the broad outlines and challenges of UNM’s budget, in terms of both revenue (where the money comes from) and expenses (where the money is spent)
  • To receive input from internal and external university constituencies regarding UNM’s key budget issues and challenges
  • To consider the effect of different budget choices on UNM’s ability to achieve its educational, research, patient care and public service missions

Though each year’s budget cycle presents its own challenges, good planning requires that we take the long view. Clearly, there are some clouds on our institutional horizon: the impacts of the federal deficit, the rising demands of Medicare and Medicaid on state budgets and our own growing backlog of deferred maintenance, to name but a few. We ignore them at our peril.

Yet neither can we be paralyzed by pessimism. Tremendous opportunities for institutional advancement exist side by side with these threats, including student successes from our freshman year programs and undergraduate research initiatives, emerging areas of distinction, research discoveries that help to transform our economy and more high profile public service that improves the quality of our common lives. These continue to be the prizes we must keep our eyes upon, whatever the obstacles.

I urge everyone to help us plan for UNM’s future by participating in some way in the 2nd Annual Budget summit. You may read materials or submit comments on the Web at http://www.unm.edu/summit/index.html, listen to the summit via streaming audio broadcast, or attend in person.

Working together, we can make a real difference for our university and everyone it serves. I look forward to all we can accomplish. Go Lobos!