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State Budget

It seems unfair that the state provides only $180 million of our billion-dollar budget but yet is so successful at tying our hands with everything we do. Procurement, salary directives—18 percent is such a small portion yet they are so powerful. Is there any flexibility or a pseudo-state entity we could have?

You actually ask a profound question. There actually is some discussion within the system, and I hope I can make this reasonably clear, about the system universities—even though they are public universities—operating something that’s called a public corporation. That’s actually in the law. This is something the legislature drafted some...
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Is UM operating in the red or in the black? Where do you see the operating budget in two years?

It is an appropriate question for our times. The simple answer is we're not allowed to operate in the red [losing money]. By state mandate, we operate in the black, but as you know we often have to make significant reductions in spending each year to achieve this. In the...
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How come the employee service awards are held at the Marriott when we have a beautiful new Southern Management Corporation Campus Center that also may be more economical amid the state budget crisis?

The program has so grown in participation over the years that this place cannot comfortably house the event, which is now drawing more than 300 participants and guests.
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After three years of furloughs and no pay raises, the staff as a whole needs something to show them that they have value to the institution. Please comment.

This is what I was trying to say when I began my remarks at the staff lunch last week. I know that the lunch is no replacement whatsoever for being compensated appropriately, for dealing with the cost of living. If there are ideas—short of money, until we are authorized the...
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What changes do you see regarding the budget and resource reallocation and efficiency efforts?

We will be guided by a strategic plan going forward. I know there’s always room for improvement. Specifically, improvements in our processes at the central administration level. The vice presidents know we need to look at how can we better the infrastructure. My more “fluffy” answer is that I would...
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