Current as of November 10, 2009
Dear Campus Community,
As you may see in news reports tomorrow, the state of South Carolina’s economic situation has declined yet again in recent weeks. The Board of Economic Advisers reported today that revenue collections for the first quarter of the fiscal year fell short of projections in virtually every category, leading the board to reduce overall revenue projections by 2 percent, which triggers a recommendation to the state Budget and Control Board that state spending be reduced an additional 2 percent. At Winthrop, that amount would be about $342,500.
Today’s report comes on the heels of a couple of months when revenue estimates have not been reduced, leading to the hope that the bottom of the recession had been reached. State economic advisers said after Tuesday’s meeting that the September decline means just the opposite – that South Carolina “has not reached bottom yet” in terms of the recession’s impact on state revenues.
The Budget and Control Board likely will take up today’s recommendation when it next meets on December 15, unless a special meeting is called. That board could opt to pass this reduction along to agencies in an across the board manner, or opt to let the General Assembly make cuts as it desires when it convenes in January. The General Assembly is not obligated to apply the cuts across the board.
As you will recall from previous budget update messages, when Winthrop’s budget plan for the fiscal year was put in place July 1, it included allowance for an expected reduction in state support in the 4 percent range. That reduction -- 4.04 percent, or $721,000 -- was ordered during the summer months, however, which fundamentally absorbed the bulk of Winthrop’s cushion for this fiscal year. While formal action regarding this latest news may not be taken in Columbia for a while yet, we will review our options for handling the shortfall, but will *not* include a furlough option in our considerations at this time. We will continue to keep you posted on developments via e-mail, and beginning tomorrow, will post additional reference material, as we did last year, on the web at: http://www.winthrop.edu/moneymatters.
Winthrop managed to cope with unexpected circumstances when they first arose across the country last year, so I have every confidence that we can respond to these new circumstances in the same spirit. As always, continuing thanks for all you do for Winthrop University.