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Dear Members of the University of Washington Community:

The news today from Olympia about the further decline in state revenues is another sign that the economic recovery will be difficult and slow. While today’s revenue forecast will not mean further cuts at this time -- a scenario hard to imagine, given what we are going through -- we do need to be mindful that the economic situation has yet to stabilize and we need to act accordingly. The next revenue forecast will come in September, and we hope that will show more encouraging signs that an economic recovery is taking hold.

In the meantime, we are about to start the new biennium, and the economic environment in which we do so is very fragile. We have worked hard over the past few months to do everything we could to protect core instructional activities and programs, and we remain committed to maintaining the highest possible quality instructional programs for our students. Governor Gregoire has asked state agencies to continue to conserve spending. I am urging the deans and chancellors, vice presidents, and others as we start the new biennium to keep the current economic climate clearly in view and to proceed cautiously and prudently in committing resources as we await the next revenue forecast in September.

The continued decline in state revenues underscores the importance of the University continuing to look for ways to increase efficiencies and creatively seek opportunities to cultivate new sources of revenue, a subject we will all be discussing and engaging more intensively in the weeks and months ahead.

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Mark A. Emmert