UVM faces projected deficit of $20 million

UVM may face a $20 million deficit in the near future, if a projection for the 2010 fiscal year holds true. “We have begun working on the 2010 budget, and our preliminary perspective on a potential budget shortfall commands our full attention.” Daniel Mark Fogel said in an email sent out to students and faculty on Monday. “We are facing much steeper budget challenge in the near term than anticipated even a few weeks ago.”According to Fogel, budget shortcomings are a part of the process. “Often our first-run numbers show a deficit for the following year, and we spend the intervening weeks and months developing plans and strategies to present a balanced budget to the board…” he said. Despite this, he calls 2010’s deficit “unprecedented.”Even before this latest projection, it was clear that something had to be done. Richard Cate, Vice President for Finance and Administration, presented to the board the projection of a 12.8 million structural deficit going into 2010.”The budget wasn’t balanced going in to 2010 – we balanced it with one-time money, so we knew we were going to have to balance it over the three-year period. Much of this is what I talked about in September, it’s just that the numbers are a little bigger than what we had known at that point, it’s been exacerbated by what’s going on in the financial market,” Cate said.Students should not expect an unscheduled rise in tuition, Cate said, or cuts in student financial aid, but there are still decisions that will be made in the coming months and “everything is on the table.””We’re certainly looking at … a wide variety of things, [but] we haven’t yet narrowed it down because we haven’t had a conversations with the deans – but we’re about to start all that.” Cate said. “There is no doubt whatsoever that the impact will be significant – but I also believe we will prevail through the hard work of this extraordinary community,” said Fogel.