This year I will deliver the State of the University address on October 3, at 3 p.m. in the Student Center Ballroom. The entire Georgia State community is invited to this presentation that will include a report on our progress in implementing GSU’s strategic plan, and a brief overview of what you can expect during our Centennial Year in 2013. Georgia State continues to enjoy strong momentum, and our future is extremely bright. I look forward to sharing details of our progress and promise for the future when we gather on October 3.
When we were in the depths of the recession I described the importance of setting our sails so that we would be headed in the right direction when the storm cleared. All of us can be proud of how the Georgia State community came together in 2010 to develop a strategic plan that has us on course to take the university to new levels of achievement and recognition. We are headed in the right direction and will stay the course, even as we continue to navigate rough seas resulting from an economy that is growing far more slowly than any of us would like.
A very real manifestation of that sluggishness is the fact that our campus is taking a reduction in funding from the State of Georgia in excess of $5M. Although State revenues have been increasing this year, those increases are not keeping pace with the anticipated increases that were used to establish the State’s budget for the current fiscal year. Governor Deal therefore has ordered all state agencies to take 3% budget reductions effective immediately, and in the case of GSU this amounts to $5,166,304.
We have weathered previous — and far worse — economic storms in the past, and again we will meet the challenge before us with creative solutions that will strengthen, not harm, our core missions of education and research. We will not be implementing furloughs or other temporary cost reduction measures since the budget reduction is a permanent reduction in our base budget. The changes that we will make will be permanent and continuing, as we find ways to be more efficient and productive with our resources.
This talk of doing more with less may sound like hyperbole, but it is not. Georgia State has become larger and more complex over the years, and there are real and significant opportunities for improving how we perform our core mission while reducing expenditures. In addition, we must look to establishing new programs that are consistent with our mission and will be revenue generating. In the days and weeks ahead every university leader, this includes non-academic units and academic departments, will be working to find ways in which the various units of the university can work together better and more productively. We are relying on the ingenuity of our leadership at all levels to use this budget reduction to stimulate change and innovation that will make GSU stronger in the future.
More than ever, I thank you for the work you do every day to ensure that Georgia State University is synonymous with quality and excellence. I assure you that every member of the senior leadership of this university shares my appreciation for your hard work, not just now but at all times. Ours is a university with a bright future, and that is because of the talents and commitment that you bring to campus every day.
Mark P. Becker