The budget crisis gets deeper

We were told last week that Olympia is requiring WWU to find another 4% to cut from this fiscal year, and another 10% for next fiscal. Fortunately (?) this is within our own internal budget forecasting so we at least have a plan for dealing with it, mostly. The hard part will be the 4% right now.

This is leading to creative thinking. We've done a lot of that over the last two years but now we're scraping the bottom of the barrel. We got told late last week that Technical Services will no longer be able to use the ADMCS supply closet for office supplies and we have to make our own. There are all of 7 of us in this department, we don't go through a lot of Post-Its, pens, and DVD blanks. What we do go through is paper and toner, because one or two of us still prints off 200-600 page manuals once in a while (the rest of us just keep the PDFs around).

And yet, I just turned in a pair of hardware quotes that came to low six figures. A lot of us are confused as to why we're even bothering if money is that tight, but apparently The Powers That Be are confident that there really is money. I do know that there are different flavors of money out there; Capital Funds can't be swept to fix operational budget holes, for instance. Apparently the money for these quotes is coming out of a similarly protected fund, but I don't know what it is or how it works. It'll be nice to get that hardware as it'll keep me busy for the better part of a month.

And of course, the 10% for next fiscal is causing everyone sweat. Technical Services hasn't had to take a layoff yet in the two rounds we've had so far, and it just might be our turn. A 10% cut to our budget is either a person, or a handful of Furlough Days.