Tough time is ahead for the University Maryland. This week, the University president Dr. Loh has announced a campus wide hiring freeze. The University’s operation is funded by the State of Maryland, which is facing a budget shortfall of $300 million this year. This will grow $650 million next year, and possibly $2 billion in 2020. Please see Dr. Loh’s letter below
December 10, 2014
Dear University of Maryland faculty and staff,
In the months ahead, we will likely face budget challenges.
The State of Maryland anticipates shortfalls in revenue this fiscal year of $300M, projected to grow to $650M next fiscal year.
Therefore, the State has asked all its agencies to “immediately begin to limit all discretionary spending” and cautioned that there will “likely be additional budget reductions during this fiscal year.” The Chancellor has requested all USM institutions to reduce expenditures, consider a hiring freeze, and prepare for more budget reductions.
Our campus has already borne its share of state-mandated “preliminary reductions” last year and this year, and more may follow. I am now informing you of a campus-wide freeze on all hires except for certain categories of personnel (e.g., lecturers, graduate assistants, and those funded by external research grants). Also, rare exceptions will be made to meet critical needs, with the approval of the appropriate vice president. In addition, we are suspending any new, state-funded renovations or major equipment purchases, unless necessary for safety reasons.
We will plan for fiscal challenges and opportunities with broad representation from the campus community. Together, we will chart our University’s future in this “new normal” in public higher education.
To this end, I will soon appoint a task force of faculty, students, staff, and administrators to recommend long-term–not stop-gap–actions for implementation on a rolling basis. The actions will (1) promote innovations and efficiencies to reduce institutional costs, but protect as much as possible our core academic missions; (2) incentivize new and entrepreneurial revenue streams; (3) reform our budgeting to be more strategic and less incremental; and (4) update the campus’ 2008 strategic plan in light of today’s new realities and likely trends through 2020.
The task force will be guided in its work by our University’s overriding goals and values:
– Elevate UMD to a top-10 public university, equal to the best flagships in the nation;
– Expand educational opportunity and upward mobility, regardless of financial need;
– Strengthen our capacity to drive our state’s economic development and quality of life;
– Increase innovation, efficiency, and entrepreneurism in all of our work.
We have a flagship mission of excellence, opportunity, and impact. These are not just promises. They are written in our charter, character, and destiny. Working together, we will emerge stronger.
As we approach the holiday season, I want to express my thanks to each of you for your service and dedication to the University of Maryland.
Wallace D. Loh
President, University of Maryland