Trustees approve FY22 operating budget; travel and hiring bans lifted

Dear Colleagues, 

On Friday, Western’s Board of Trustees approved our FY22 Operating Budget for the year beginning July 1. The full item from the Trustees meeting is available here, with the FY22 budget information beginning on page 33. Thank you to everyone who participated in the process by sharing ideas, proposals, testimonials, advocacy, questions, and critiques. 

The FY22 budget includes new funding from the state directed towards Ethnic Studies curriculum, TA stipends, and support services for historically marginalized students, as well as internal funding for critical needs and initiatives. It requires no institutional or state budget reductions, ending the need for the temporary hiring and purchasing restrictions introduced last spring. The budget relies on a mix of recurring and temporary revenues, including a 2.8% increase to tuition rates and short-term stimulus funding. The approach to this biennium focuses on balancing financial risk with the risks of inaction on our university priorities.   

Selected highlights of the FY22 budget 

Full details on the budget and a complete list of investments is included at the link above. Among the many new items, selected highlights include: 

  • Further internal support for TA stipends in addition to the state funding, bringing the total to $291,469 in FY22 with additional increases in FY23 
  • Funding for Western’s new Office of Equity 
  • Aligning the Western Libraries resource access budget with inflation 
  • Support for the College of Business and Economics Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Initiative, and Woodring College of Education Program Staff for Diversity, Recruitment and Retention 
  • A second year of funding for the Community Anti-Racist Transformation and Wellness Program, carrying forward the work begun in FY21. 

Compensation 

Funding was provided in the state appropriation to support increases for employees who did not receive a general wage increase in FY21. This budget includes a placeholder amount for general increases for pro-staff and faculty, as well as the years-in-position and compression/inversion increases for pro-staff, built into the starting point. Actual increases will be the result of collective bargaining and pro-staff guidelines, with an update expected in the next two weeks. Adjustments are also included to keep pace with minimum wage increases where applicable, to respond to changes to overtime eligibility in some exempt staff positions, and to incorporate changes to state benefit rate calculations. 

Update on Purchasing, Travel, and Hiring Restrictions 

Last spring, in order to maximize our ability to respond and adapt to the financial impacts of COVID-19, we asked that you slow or halt any non-essential expenditures in your divisions, including purchasing, contracts, and filling vacant positions. Collectively, these measures generated over $5 million in FY21 budget savings and were an important tool in allowing us to focus resources on the immediate response, on protecting our people and on mission fulfillment. As of July 1 2021, the emergency procedures on hiring, travel, and purchasing are no longer in effect, and each Vice President will provide oversight and stewardship of divisional resources. 

Feel free to respond to this message or email bfp@wwu.edu with any questions. 

Thank you! 

Faye 

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 - 2:31pm

Event Date