Dear Colleagues:

As we begin developing the budget for fiscal year 2020, our commitment to advancing student success aligned with regional needs will be the focus of that process. While we navigate the unanticipated decline in net tuition revenue for the fall semester and the uncertainty of the pension situation, we must keep our focus on student retention, new recruitment efforts and targeted marketing. Earlier this fall, I authorized a one-time $1.2 million investment to support those efforts. Regarding the pension issue, we are drafting a set of recommendations that provide relevant and effective strategic solutions essential to higher education’s financial stewardship and our ability to recruit, retain and reward a highly talented staff.  

Throughout the budget process, we will solicit ideas and suggestions to keep the campus community engaged and informed. We will consult with Staff Congress, Faculty Senate, Student Government Association, Council of Chairs, Academic Affairs Council and the relevant budget committees. Input from students will be sought about parking, housing, technology, dining and tuition costs.  All suggestions and ideas will be considered as we develop a budget recommendation for action by the Board of Regents in March 2019.

The following principles will guide the development of the budget:

  1. Preserve the university’s academic priorities centered on student success. Continue to emphasize instructional programs that are innovative, distinctive, experiential and interdisciplinary, as well as programs that respond to student demand and support the needs of our region.
  2. Invest in our people. Find ways to reinvest in the growth and development of our people and recognize their achievements.
  3. Position NKU for both short- and long-term success. Make thoughtful, data-informed decisions that ensure a firm foundation for the next fiscal year while providing the flexibility to align resources with the university’s strategic framework process.
  4. Be bold and innovative when prioritizing functions and activities for investment and disinvestment. Avoid across-the-board budget increases or decreases. Utilize the input and ideas discovered throughout the strategic framework process to shape these priorities.
  5. Create efficiencies and effectiveness across campus. Look for efficiencies, cost savings, productivity improvements and cost avoidance strategies while maintaining expected service levels. These activities should align with the three boxes being utilized to organize internal and external feedback from the strategic framework process.
  6. Take an incentive-based approach to allocating university resources. Continue using the new budget model to incentivize the enrollment, retention and graduation of more students, as well as to generate alternative revenue streams across the campus.

Thank you all for all the hard work and dedication that goes into the creation of our annual budget. I look forward to working together on this endeavor.

Sincerely yours,
Ashish