I N S I D E T H I S
I S S U E : :
M A Y 7 , 2 0 1 5
V O L U M E 3 , I S S U E 4
S P E C I A L D A T E S
O F IN T ER E S T :
May 8: Faculty/Staff
Social | Zick’s
May 17: Baccalaureate
Service | Wait Chapel
May 18: Graduation
Exercises | Hearn Plaza
August 25: First Day of
August 25: THRIVE
Message from the Provost...
The inevitable references, this as each April, to ‘cruelest month’ miss Eliot’s more hopeful next Waste
Land line: “breeding/Lilacs out of the dead land.” The time of lilacs is, across Wake Forest, a season of
budgets and banquets. On the budgetary side, we are wrapping up the fiscal year and planning for the
next, as a cacophony of numbers streams from finance managers to and from our budget offices.
Meanwhile celebratory events spring forth, honoring faculty research/creative work; the newly-tenured
and –promoted; the year’s memorable accomplishments across all our departments, schools, and staff
teams; bidding Godspeed to retiring members of the WFU family; readying for Commencement. All
these make up a flurry that leaves April seeming to fade almost before it begins.
Budgets for the coming year are tight: an eternal lament on campus, dating back as long as anyone can
recall. Continued national downward pressure on college costs, combined with our determination to
enhance broad access to a Wake Forest education, has tuition/fees (across all our schools) increasing at
record-low rates. Glancing backwards in time, the College saw a run of six straight years of double-digit
tuition increases in the late 1980s/early ‘90s, and routinely approached 8% just a few years ago. Next
year will mark our second straight at just above 3%; the last tuition increase this low was in 1979, when
a change of zero was hastily followed the next year by a 20% boost.
These are tough trends at an institution as tuition-dependent as Wake Forest. On the positive side, our
average undergraduate debt decreased last year, contrary to most peer schools—a shift fuelled in part
by scholarship contributions to the Wake Will campaign. We have also made do with less in our oper-
ating budget, with the ‘Strategic Resource Initiative’ (SRI) now saving $7.4 million annually—none of
which cuts were to our academic enterprise.
As Hof Milam announced last week in his annual budget report, pressing facilities needs (beginning with
Hearn Plaza residence halls and stretching across campus in every direction) have us working to create
an additional $15 million in the annual University operating budget—which currently tops $350 million.
Another $10 million or so will be earmarked for new or enhanced academic programming—a boon to
so many who have tightened belts or postponed creative ideas.
Securing those additional millions will require both financial discipline and flourishing new revenue
streams. As described in my last newsletter as well as address to campus earlier this month, ‘History of
the Future’ exercises across campus have yielded a wealth of promising ideas on both fronts. From a
new set of high-school institutes launching in Charlotte this summer to the tax-credit-aided program
ideas at Wake Forest Innovation Quarter, coming months and years promise a fruitful season of finan-
cial improvements. As we work through with faculty, staff, and student leaders an array of notions both
immediate-term and on the more distant horizon, hopes run more towards lilac-like blooms than April’s