November 9, 2020: FY21 Budget and Mitigation Plan Update

Dear St. Thomas faculty and staff,

We have a budget update to share. The November Fiscal Year 2021 budget update is complete and was presented to the Board of Trustees at the November 5 board meeting. The headlines:
  • Our best-case annual deficit has grown slightly to $17 million (from $16.7 million) and
  • Our worst-case projection has fallen slightly to $41.1 million (from $45.5 million).
The mitigation plan adopted in May 2020 (which recommended, among other strategies, staff salary reductions and employee retirement plan suspensions beginning May 15, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020, and faculty salary reductions beginning Sept. 1, 2020, through April 15, 2021) remains sufficient to offset the $17 million. A decision will be made and communicated no later than December 9 on whether any further mitigation levers should be activated if it is necessary to protect for a larger deficit. PowerPoint presentation with full details.

Thanks go to everyone in our community, for doing everything humanly possible to support our students and the university’s operations during this time. It is an incredible accomplishment that we are more than halfway through the fall semester and continuing to operate according to our best-case scenario.

As we look toward the balance of the year, there is still great uncertainty. By early December we will have a more confident projection on how we will finish the fall semester and an early read on J-term and spring enrollments. We will use both projections to update the mitigation plan and make any new recommendations to the president in early December. As mentioned above, decisions will be communicated to all employees no later than December 9.

On November 17, Dr. Julie Sullivan will be hosting an all-employee Town Hall with the goal of reviewing key topics discussed and feedback received at the recent board meeting. Ample time will be allowed to answer any questions you might have. More details will be coming from Dr. Sullivan this week including a link to submit questions in advance.

As always you can check the Strategic Planning Steering Committee’s OneStThomas page for the latest communication.

Thank you for your commitment, your efforts and your energy. St. Thomas is grateful for all you do.

Warm regards,

Richard Plumb, EVP and Provost, committee co-chair
Mark Vangsgard, CFO, committee co-chair
Ed Clark, Chief Innovation Technology Officer
Al Cotrone, VP Enrollment
Abigail Crouse, Associate General Counsel
MayKao Y. Hang, VP Strategic Initiatives, Founding Dean of the Morrison Family College of Health
Kevin Henderson, Professor, Opus College of Business
Nora Fitzpatrick, AVP, Financial Planning and Budgeting
Marty Johnston, Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Karen Julian, Chief Data Officer
Karen Lange, VP Student Affairs
Kymm Martinez, VP Marketing, Insights and Communications
Amy McDonough, Chief of Staff to the President
Sandra Menssen, Associate Dean, School of Education
Erin Muckerheide, Interim AVP Human Resources
Wendy Wyatt, Vice Provost, Academic Affairs