University’s financial situation; extension of pay guarantee through June 30

May 20, 2020

To:  Faculty, staff, administrators
From:  Ralph W. Kuncl, President, and the President’s Cabinet
Date:  May 20, 2020
Subject:  University’s financial situation; extension of pay guarantee through June 30

Dear friends and colleagues,

First, we would like to thank you for your hard work, dedication, and persistence during these unprecedented times.  Many of you are working long hours in the face of significant new demands, while others are juggling child care and job responsibilities or are frustrated by the inability to report to work in person due to California’s stay-at-home mandate.  We appreciate your contributions, however the pandemic has impacted you.

For the University as a whole, the pandemic has significantly worsened our financial situation—the 2020-21 fiscal year budget deficit alone, largely impacted by uncertain enrollment, is now projected at more than $13 million.  But the challenges are both near-term and longer-term.  Our University is built for the larger enrollment seen in past years.  How will we thrive?  With your input through surveys and forums, and with the diligence of the recently created Task Force for Future Financial Health, we are working to find innovative and realistic solutions that will ultimately strengthen the University for the future.

The Task Force is meeting weekly through August to review specific proposals.  Those proposals are presented in detailed templates that specify the idea, structural change, cost, financial benefit, market or peer data, risk, potential timetable, and more.

Task Force liaisons have been designated for outreach to you and as points of contact for various constituencies:

  • For faculty, Trustee Jim Ashby ’82 and Professors Ben Aronson, Mark Kumler, Mike MacQueen, and Suzette Soboti
  • For staff, Director of Information Services Wes Head and Senior Diversity and Inclusion Officer Christopher Jones
  • For students, Graduate Student Paloma Hinojosa and Trustee Ron Troupe ’64
  • For alumni/Redlands community members, Board Chair Lee Launer ’77, Trustee Jeannie Kim ‘01 (M.Div.), and former Alumni Board President and former Trustee Luann Bangsund ‘74, ‘79

If you have ideas to share, or wish to prepare a proposal for consideration, please email the Task Force at

Concurrently, we are working on plans for an eventual reopening of our campuses.  To date, San Bernardino County recommends we continue telecommuting.  While we don’t yet know when a fulsome reopening of offices, and eventually residential campuses, will be, we are hopeful we can strike a balance between taking precautions to protect the health and safety of our community and providing students with the personalized and engaging experiences that are the hallmarks of our programs. Both faculty and staff have convened groups to discuss what a return to campus could look like and to identify our best options.

As these critical processes continue, we announce today the further extension of guaranteed pay for all faculty, staff, and administrators until June 30, the end of our fiscal year.  In so doing, the salary guarantee will have been in place for all our employees for more than three months, since mid-March.  We realize these are challenging times for many households, and our hope is that this extension will be welcome and meaningful.

For the period after June 30, the Cabinet and Task Force are considering an array of options to achieve a balanced budget and to position the University to thrive in teaching and learning over the long-term.  We will write with additional updates as soon as they are available.

Again, thank you for your many contributions to the University and to our inclusive Bulldog community.