April 29, 2020

To: UAPB Campus Community
From: Carla M. Martin, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration 
Subject: Budget Overview

I wanted to take an opportunity to share information regarding the current status of the FY 2020 budget and future expectations for the FY 2021 budget.

Shortly after the Coronavirus made its way to Arkansas and due to a substantial decrease in the state’s revenue collections, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced a cut to Higher Education’s funding. Specifically, the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff’s state appropriation was reduced twice. The first reduction was for 3.66% or $1,133,985. The second reduction was in the amount of 4.250% or $218,702 and it was for our nonformula funding. We were able to absorb these cuts by not filling certain vacancies and reducing our operating budgets.

Around the middle of April, we learned we would be on the receiving end of additional cuts for next fiscal year which begins July 1, 2020. While the exact amount of the cut is unknown, the tentative expectation is for a loss of approximately 13.8% or $3,567,305. You all may recall that last year we eliminated the Contingency line item in the budget in order to ensure all our employees remained employed at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. Now, as we stand on the brink of a major cut in our state appropriation, we cannot afford to have a decrease in our enrollment because that, too, would further decrease our operating income.

Dr. Alexander has regularly encouraged us to “not be complacent” with the number of students we have enrolled on our campus. It troubles us that as we forecast for the future, we essentially need 100% of the students who can return, to return. We also need every employee speaking positively about the institution and actively recruiting every place they may go.

FY 2021 will be a challenge. We will think creatively to ensure a balanced budget. We will be forced to make difficult decisions. However, just as we have done in years past, we will make decisions that will ensure the long-term success of the institution.