Oct. 20, 2010

President Dahl outlines strategy to tackle difficult budget situation

President Christopher C. Dahl speaks about the budget situation

President Christopher C. Dahl speaks with members of the Geneseo community about the budget during an all-campus forum on Oct. 15. /PHOTO BY BRIAN BENNETT


President Christopher C. Dahl minced no words in updating the campus Oct. 15 on the state of Geneseo's 2010-11 budget situation: it remains dire and likely will result in the elimination of some programs on campus, including degree programs, to preserve the core quality of the institution.

"We continue to look for budget savings anywhere we can but the prognosis is not good," said Dahl. "We are relying on stopgap budget solutions, which are not sustainable, and our reserves are rapidly diminishing. Even with the savings we will realize through retirements and other initiatives, we are still up against multi-million-dollar deficits that we must close, and the only thing left is program curtailment. This is a difficult time for all of us but unfortunately, it's the new ‘normal.'"

Dahl said the challenge is to move the college forward without sacrificing excellence and asserted that further across-the-board cuts would weaken the institution. He emphasized that no final decision has been made on program curtailment but said he likely would have an announcement before winter. He added that the process will involve consultation with the college's strategic planning group, budget advisory committee, College Council and College Senate, and would focus on seven considerations: mission relatedness; quality; cost; enrollment trends; interrelatedness with other programs; sustainability; and potential fundraising implications.

"Our goal is to preserve the long-range future of Geneseo as a unique and distinctive institution of higher education," he said. Slides with details of Dahl's update are available to view on his web page. The presentation was the first in a series of budget forums the president promised to conduct during his convocation address last August.