Financial action plan: Leadership forum recording now available
A recording of the Jan. 29 leadership forum in which President Robert C. Robbins and interim Chief Financial Officer John Arnold provided an update on the University's financial action plan has been posted on the Financial Updates website.
Robbins and Arnold were joined by Arizona Board of Regents Chair Fred DuVal for the discussion, which was attended by University leaders and shared governance partners, including deans, department heads, Faculty Senate officers, members of the Committee of Eleven, the co-chairs of the Strategic Planning and Budget Advisory Committee, Staff Council leaders, and representatives of the Associated Students of the University of Arizona and the Graduate and Professional Student Council.
"This is one of the greatest research universities in the world. We are going to find a way to solve these problems, together," Robbins said at the forum, held in the Health Sciences Innovation Building. "We're going to do it with integrity, compassion and determination, from our core values. And we're going to do it with transparency and collaboration and cooperation."
Robbins emphasized that the work of the University will continue unhindered.
"I think we want to make the changes in efficiency without harming our students, our faculty, staff, and this entrepreneurial, innovative spirit we have that makes us one of the greatest research universities in the world," the president said. "We can't stop investing in things. We need to continue to invest in the things that are core to this university: our students, our faculty, staff, our research mission and our service mission. I mean, we are the land-grant university."
Arnold echoed that thought, noting that ABOR is looking at developing policies aimed at improving communication as well as how cash reserves are managed at the state's public universities.
"All three universities are working with the board office to make sure that language is appropriate to give you the freedom to go out and invest and make strategic advancements in your own colleges and divisions, but also so it's done in a way that everyone knows what's happening and what the plans are, so that, overall, the university cash remains at a stable level," he said.
Arnold encouraged everyone at the University to approach the financial challenges together.
"Either this is a University-wide problem or only those departments that are generating profit survive. And I don't think that's where we want to be," he said. "So, we need to – as Regent Duval asked – we need to elevate our vision a little bit. We're a university. We're not a series of, you know, loosely connected departments and colleges. And we need to think about ourselves as a university if we're going to really solve this."
Read more about the forum on the University News website.
The Financial Updates website is being updated as new information is available. Faculty and staff members are encouraged to visit the site regularly. Among recent additions to the page:
- The section titled Moving Forward explains that Arnold will work closely with leaders across colleges and divisions and their business officers to implement the new centralized budget system. "Guidance related to those decisions will be communicated by college and division leadership to their respective areas as the financial planning process continues," according to the site.
- A new section titled Financial Situation Background offers more details on the financial challenges, including internal and external factors that have contributed to it.
- Resources at the bottom of the homepage include Human Resources guidance, Financial Services guidance and capital projects guidance.
Employees experiencing anxiety have several mental and emotional health resources available to them through Life & Work Connections:
- Employee Assistance Counseling | Free, confidential, short-term counseling through ComPsych.
- Credible Mind | Free digital platform of expert-curated and scientifically backed mental health self-care content.
- Team presentations | Life & Work Connections can give a presentation on stress management, self-care, compassion fatigue and other topics at unit meetings or retreats.