“Talking Points” for Budget Reduction Planning in Divisions

“Talking Points” for Budget Reduction Planning in Divisions

Requested by the Administrative Council, Prepared by Sue Searing

May 18, 2015


  1. In order to prepare for certain but as yet unspecified reductions, Dean Wilkin has asked units to model 1%, 3% and 5% reductions to their operating budgets for FY16.
  2. We anticipate that the materials allocation will be flat.
  3. The AULs are holding discussions with the unit heads in their areas of responsibility.  The Dean is working with the unit heads that report to him.
  4. The AULs and the Dean are working from spreadsheets that represent a snapshot of currently filled positions (permanent and visiting faculty, academic professionals, and classified staff), faculty and AP positions for which searches are underway, and FY15 student hourly allocations.
  5. Most other expenditures (GAs, supplies, services, equipment, currently vacant classified positions, etc.) are centrally managed and are not part of the AUL-led exercise.  These central budgets will, however, be subject to the same or larger cuts.
  6. The Library’s deadline for developing the 1%, 3% and 5% models is the end of May.
  7. Although the immediate task is to prepare for potential reductions in FY16, additional reductions are anticipated in future years, so longer-term thinking is encouraged.



  1. Consider opportunities for cross-unit work sharing that could reduce the total number of staff needed.
  2. Consider known retirements or resignations in the coming years that will create opportunities for restructuring our work.
  3. Tackle the tough question:  what will you stop doing?



…I would like to share with you a number of principles and guidelines that we will use in our process:

  • Prioritize activities of strategic importance to the campus mission.
  • Avoid layoffs as far as possible while addressing strategic goals.
  • Everything is important, but not everything is of equal importance.


Moreover, units should be guided by these strategies: 

  • Partner with areas of the Library that provide similar services to identify areas where we can take reductions while still maintaining effective services or accomplishing critical processing support.
  • Consider reducing or eliminating an activity if it is duplicated elsewhere and is not core to the unit’s services or the Library’s mission.
  • Be forward-thinking: We will consider proposals for the way combining service or processing activities might achieve savings, even if it requires a one-time investment.
  • Support your recommendations with evidence: if you are recommending the elimination or protection of an activity, explain, for example, the priority you believe it has to the user community, how often it is used, how much effort it takes to provide it, whether it can be gotten elsewhere.