Essential Information - Fiscal Context Parts 1 & 2

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor
Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, 1:21 p.m.
KU Lawrence All Staff, Faculty and Affiliates

Dear staff and faculty,

As we work to address the projected revenue shortfall for Fiscal Year 2022 for the Lawrence and Edwards campuses, I want us all to have a shared understanding of the challenges – and the opportunities – we face.

The video series Essential Information that I launched last week provides some institutional context using benchmark information that identifies areas where KU stands out and also defines areas we must improve. I appreciate all the questions, comments and topic ideas that you have sent me. I’ll continue working to address your thoughts in this and future videos.

As further context, today’s videos look more closely at some of the fiscal issues that have affected KU prior to the start of the pandemic. In Part 1, I’ll review some of the historical shifts in funding streams as well as factors that have affected our ability to generate revenue to cover our expenses. Part 2 identifies the categories for our expected losses and introduces additional benchmarking data analyzing the impact of previous across the board budget reductions. This background will be useful when we discuss the approaches to accomplishing financial stability now and into the future.

As I said last week, all of us will have to work quickly and creatively in the days and months ahead to advance our vision and adopt measures that will strengthen KU. Senior leaders, who’ve had an opportunity to preview the information in today’s video, are beginning to work on budget plans for the coming fiscal year. It’s a critical time for us to right size our operations as well as invest in efforts that will elevate the institution in the eyes of our peers and in the eyes of the students and the state we serve.

I want to know what information you need. Your questions and comments are always welcome. Send an email to, contact your Dean, Vice Provost or your Governance leader, or use this anonymous, open-ended form.

I will soon share additional videos that offer more insight into our situation. I’ll also announce broadly representative campus committees and task forces that will be part of our fiscal stability and strategic endeavors. Thank you to all who have shown a willingness to be partners in our efforts to build a stronger University of Kansas.

I appreciate all the work staff and faculty are doing to adjust during the pandemic, and I look forward to working more closely with everybody as we chart our way through this challenging moment and toward a brighter future for all of us and for KU.



Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor