Finalizing Current Fiscal Year Budget Mitigation

September 24, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff:

With the fall semester well underway, I again want to thank you for your commitment to your students, to your colleagues, and to our university. Working together, you have transformed the GW experience, ensuring our important teaching, learning, and research advances uninterrupted while protecting health and safety on our campuses.

Today, I am pleased to be able to announce the following:
    •    As the result of intensive and creative problem solving that included faculty leadership, Board leadership, and administrative leadership, the revenue gap in our budget has been reduced from $180 million to $160 million. With the approval of the Board of Trustees, we will use up to $20 million of unrestricted university assets as part of our financial mitigation plan.
    •    As a result of this solution, we are no longer considering across-the-board faculty and staff salary reductions.
    •    To complete our mitigation, we will identify reductions in non-recurring expenses at the discretion of the deans and unit leadership. 
    •    Earlier mitigation actions will be completed in the coming weeks.
Although the pandemic and its effects on our university have been very fluid, members of university leadership and I feel confident that the totality of the actions taken and announced will now address our current financial challenges. To be clear: Barring a significant change in the pandemic and its impact, we believe that these final steps will conclude our budget mitigation for this fiscal year.

I also am hopeful that even the suspension of the university’s retirement contributions, or other temporary actions we have taken, may be reduced in duration if our enrollment next semester is robust. Every member of our community can help in this regard by giving our students the highest quality experience this semester. I have heard from many students about the positive experience they are having so far, and I want to thank each of you for your work to make the fall virtual term a
success.

We will continue to closely monitor our financial situation and provide an update in December about the status of retirement contributions, and we will provide updates should any other temporary measures be adjusted.

I understand that this has been a very difficult time for our community, and I hope that this update provides clarity on our financial situation and a path forward, as we now turn our attention fully to doing everything we can to ensure a successful fall semester and planning for the spring and beyond.  

I especially want to thank the Faculty Senate and its committees for the hundreds of hours of thoughtful and deliberative consultation with leadership to navigate the challenges. And to all of our faculty and staff, I remain grateful for your dedication to GW, and for your resilience, your patience, and your understanding, as we have worked together to prioritize health, safety, care, and our core academic mission.

Sincerely,
Thomas J. LeBlanc
President