Following the announcement of a nearly six percent budget cut across all University departments, the Provost's Office will be hosting a "budget town hall" discussion Wednesday afternoon.
"I do not find it easy to share such difficult news only a month after stepping into this role, but I am firm in my resolve to do it," Carl Lejuez, the interim provost and executive vice chancellor, said in an email sent to University faculty and staff.
The cuts — resulting in a total cut of $20 million — were announced on May 29 via email and then posted publicly on the Office of the Provost's website. In the statement, Lejuez said that the cuts were due to "years of many long-term commitments and investments that each year exceeded our revenue, combined with institutional budgeting practices inconsistent with the current challenges of higher education funding and a decade-long trend of declines in state funding."
In a later statement from both Chancellor Douglas Girod and Lejuez, published on June 1, individual departments were described as responsible for delegating the cuts — but central administration has already seen changes.
The vice chancellor and chief financial office, and vice provost for finance and administration positions have been combined. Dianne Goddard will be taking the role as vice provost and CFO while Leisa Julian, the current CFO, will help with the transition until her departure on June 20. It is unclear where Julian will go after that date.
The second administrative change will be cutting the senior vice provost for academic affairs position. Stuart Day, who has been the senior vice provost since March 2017, will be returning to his previous role as the chair of the department of Spanish and Portuguese.
"These changes flatten our central administration structure while still ensuring KU remains true to our core goals to improve the student experience, expand our outreach to the state, and grow our research enterprise," Chancellor Girod said in the statement.
Lejuez said that the town hall on Wednesday will be a chance for the University community to ask questions, even after the event is scheduled to end.
"While the session officially will end at 5 p.m., I’ll stay to answer questions until the last person leaves," Lejuez said.
The event will be in Ballroom of the Kansas Union at 4 p.m. and will be live streamed.