Putting UNT on solid financial ground

May 14, 2014

Dear faculty and staff,

Recently, we have all become more aware of our university’s budget and fiscal problems. After spending the first months as UNT’s president getting my arms around our financial challenges, I can share my belief that the obstacles we face are significant, but surmountable. I have a good understanding of our budget picture and I can assure you that, fundamentally, we are sound. But we must take steps to put our university on solid financial ground going forward and to build a budget that will sustain us for the future. I’m confident that, together, we will overcome our challenges.

While we’ve already moved to correct some of the problems, we now must focus on preparing our Fiscal Year 2015 budget. In preparing the FY 2015 budget, we will shore up our budget processes and operations, rebuild our financial reserves, and prepare our legislative appropriation request for the 84th Texas legislative session that will convene in January 2015.

The FY 2015 budget, which we will submit to the UNT System for review in June and approval by the UNT System Board of Regents in August, will balance our revenue and expenditures, continue funding our debts and start to rebuild our savings. Importantly, it will ensure that we strategically fund our core mission of educating students, contributing to our state’s economy, and being a strong educational, economic and cultural resource for our communities and businesses. 

To achieve our financial goals, our FY 2015 budget will reflect an average reduction of 3 percent for administrative units and 2 percent for academic units. This differential is intended to preserve our academic mission and ensure students get the support and classes they need to be successful. In preparing their division budgets, I’ve directed the vice presidents to think strategically about cuts so that we build strength in key areas, make focused investments, and preserve revenue-generating programs and initiatives.

While I recognize some sacrifices will be made to ensure UNT is fiscally sound, I believe conservative budgeting and the associated changes will make us a stronger university, with available funds in the future to grow in a sustainable and incremental manner. Together, we will focus on improving our operational core, ensuring that the quality of our education and support for students only gets better. And through this process, I’m confident that UNT will have a solid financial foundation.

I look at this upcoming academic year as an opportunity to get better — together. As a team, we are stronger than any challenges we face. And through this process, our budget will be stronger and we, as a campus community, will be better.

Thank you for your hard work and your willingness to put UNT first. 

UNT proud,

Neal Smatresk