Dear DDCE Family,
Thank you for your dedication and hard work over the past five weeks as we navigate a new normal. DDCE has continued to provide much-needed assistance to all of our students and to the various communities we serve. We can all be proud of the work we have done and the near-seamless response we’ve provided. I am reminded every day how privileged I am to lead and work with the most amazing collection of talent in all of higher education. I would especially like to acknowledge the hard-working teachers and administrators at UT Elementary School and the UT Charter School System who are educating hundreds of students each day, and our student-facing units across DDCE who engaged with current and prospective UT students on a daily basis.
The recent announcement of the University’s Financial Mitigation Plan does mean real changes for everyone across the university. Not only does it eliminate merit pay, it will affect our hiring over the course of the next year as well as our purchasing processes for large expenditures. Although the budget for 2019-2020 remains unaffected at this time, we need to prepare for 2020-2021 and beyond. Like other universities across the country, we are expecting a drop in enrollment this fall which could mean substantial revenue loss. The Permanent University Fund has seen a drop in revenues as well, so we can expect budget shifts when the state legislature meets in early 2021.
In anticipation of what we are facing in this time of uncertainty, we will need to “tighten our belts” immediately as we plan for 2020-2021. The senior leadership of the division will be going through all aspects of the DDCE budget over the next couple of months and we will have to make tough decisions about the next fiscal year. We all need to remain innovative and flexible. I know we as a team excel in innovation so let’s embrace the challenges that are being thrown our way. And let’s not forget that changes at the larger university level also create new opportunities.
I trust and pray that all of you are staying safe and that your loved ones are well. I look forward to seeing all of you at the virtual All-Division Staff Meeting on May 6.
Leonard N. Moore
Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement
George W. Littlefield Professor of American History