To the Faculty and Staff of Georgetown University
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am writing to thank you for the feedback you have shared in recent days regarding the actions we are proposing for the coming year, most recently described in our proposed five-year financial plan. I know there has been constructive and active dialogue happening throughout our campus since our announcement last week, especially related to an upcoming delay in the merit pool for staff. These conversations are productive and represent the thoughtful engagement that uniquely characterizes our Georgetown community.
Much of the feedback we are hearing from our faculty and staff recognizes the difficult decisions that have accompanied our strategic and financial planning decisions, and the complex environment facing the higher education sector. I have heard from those urging us to ensure that our plans appropriately recognize the hard work and commitment of all members of our University, especially as they relate to the lowest paid among us.
Respectful of your concerns about how we implement our financial plan, today I asked the Executive Vice Presidents on each campus and our Chief Operating Officer to work over the next few weeks to develop a plan that seeks to ease the burden on our employees, within the financial framework already developed. I expect a plan that will keep us on track to meet our financial goals and does not impact the cost of education.
I have asked them to continue to engage in dialogue with you on your respective campuses, in conversations, town hall meetings and open forums to solicit your feedback in formulating their recommended plan to me by March 11.
As I described in my letter to the University community last week, higher education faces unprecedented challenges. These include the rising cost of education and student loan burdens despite the return of economic growth; the unprecedented level of uncertainty over federal funding; and the potential disruptions and opportunities that technology presents for higher education.
It is critical that we continue investing in initiatives that position us to compete in this rapidly changing environment. A balanced budget is our path to do this. With a projected deficit this year of $19 million, we must maintain progress toward our goal of cutting this deficit in half for FY14 and obtaining balanced operations thereafter.
Thank you all for your engagement and the concern you have shown for your community. I am grateful for the contributions each of you makes every day to Georgetown.
John J. DeGioia