President Mouw Outlines Plans for Cost-Reduction Measures
In an all-seminary convocation held Tuesday, January 6, President Richard J. Mouw discussed ways the economic downturn has affected Fuller, and presented specific measures to address current financial challenges.
Mouw shared that the unstable economy has caused a decline in all three of Fuller’s primary income streams – tuition, endowment income, and gifts and grants. As a result, the seminary must reduce its proposed budget for the next three years by approximately $2.5 million, he said.
To address this new budget reality, Fuller’s senior administrative team has been working diligently in recent weeks to identify the most appropriate cost-reduction measures, Mouw continued. "Fundamental to all of these difficult discussions has been a deep commitment to preserving the values that shape our core mission. We exist to equip men and women for the manifold ministries of Christ and his Church, and as an academic institution we do this primarily through teaching and scholarship—those are the non-negotiable core activities of an academic community."
Mouw presented several cost-cutting measures the seminary will take in order to achieve a balanced three-year budget, including the following: new steps of review will be implemented in all hiring decisions, salaries will be maintained at current levels for two to three years, new procedures and reviews will be applied to all travel and other expenditures, and the seminary will temporarily suspend contributions to retirement plans, among other measures. At the same time, senior leaders and their departments will be working to identify structural and operational changes, which could provide greater efficiency within the seminary.
Fuller’s financial condition is "fundamentally strong," Mouw said, noting that the current $2.5 million budget reduction represents less than seven percent of Fuller’s overall current budget of $38 million—a less significant challenge than is currently faced by many schools and organizations.
"These are difficult times for higher education," Mouw said. "But we have been blessed at Fuller Seminary with solid and wise operational leadership over more than six decades of ministry, and the care with which we have engaged in institutional stewardship throughout our history is obvious during these difficult times."