November 10, 2010 Budget Update

Update from Les 11-10-10

Several people have asked me about the effect of the recent election on the college's budget. I want to share with you what we know at this point, but there isn't very much concrete information to share at this point.

As you know, even before the election, the state anticipated a shortfall of approximately $520 million in the current fiscal year. The ballot initiatives will add another $55 million to that shortfall. The combined effect of the September revenue forecast and the November ballot initiatives raise the shortfall for the 2011-13 biennium from about $3 billion to $3.8 billion. More importantly, the initiatives make it very unlikely that any new tax revenues will be available to fill these gaps.

It is too soon to know what the direct effect on the college will be, except that we are anticipating another difficult legislative session. Over the next two weeks, the state will update its caseload and revenue forecasts. Based on those projections, the Governor will publish a budget proposal in mid-December. We will continue to advocate for the college, emphasizing the value of interdisciplinary liberal arts and public service, talking about the importance of state support of financial aid programs, and arguing that continued double-digit tuition increases are unsustainable.

As I previously reported, the Vice Presidents and I continue to work on ways to meet the budget cuts required in the current fiscal year. As the picture for the next biennium becomes clearer, we will post occasional updates on the college's budget website and on the website of the Office of Government Relations. And we will continue to work every day to provide our students with the best education we can with the resources we have available. I am grateful to everyone at Evergreen for continuing to do this amazing work.

Les Purce