March 14, 2024

Dear UD Faculty and Staff,

As of yesterday, we have visited each of our colleges and schools as part of our “listening tour,” engaging with numerous faculty and staff members to hear your concerns and ideas. This included discussion about principles and strategies to mitigate the University’s current budget challenges and empower unit leaders to apply discretion and judgment to minimize unintended consequences.

We cannot express enough how valuable your input has been, and we sincerely appreciate the time that those of you who were able to attend gave to these important conversations. Truly, such moments remind us of how very special our community is, knowing we can exchange ideas to advance our shared goals of supporting a successful future for UD.

Common themes that have emerged through our discussions include:

  • Maintaining the quality and breadth of our course offerings
  • Reaffirming the importance of the arts and humanities in a liberal arts education
  • Continuing to support research to maintain momentum gains
  • Supporting our junior faculty (including through start-ups and lab renovations)
  • Fostering development and career advancement of all faculty and staff (including sabbaticals, travel and competitive compensation with a commitment to merit)
  • Continuing to deliver high-quality student support services
  • Exploring options to deal with health insurance premium increases
  • Balancing operational continuity with resources and equitable workloads
  • Recognizing the possible differential impact on smaller units
  • Optimizing utilization and alignment of instructional, research and administrative spaces
  • Ensuring transparency of budgets to the department level
  • Eliminating hurdles and improving efficiency at all levels
  • Harnessing people’s expertise and desire to be part of the solution

As we shared during the meetings, we plan to continue these listening sessions with other campus units, including staff groups providing services to the entire campus, as well as cross-college and university-level faculty groups. Our goal is to meet with and hear from as many of you as we can and then share responses to frequently asked questions with the UD community. Please continue to visit the Cost Savings Measures and Guidelines page for further updates as they become available.

We would also like to invite you to attend our semi-annual and special meetings of the Board of Trustees (the next one is this coming Tuesday, March 19), which are open to the public and live-streamed, to hear more updates on the finances of our University and other matters. Furthermore, in addition to the faculty and student representatives already serving on trustee committees, all members of the Faculty Senate Budget Committee are invited to attend the upcoming spring meeting of the Trustee Finance Committee on April 19.

We are united in our devotion to UD. The only way to continue to enhance, advance and protect the progress that our institution has made in recent years will be by working together. Your engaged participation will inspire that progress. Our collective insights from all the listening sessions will help guide collaboration and consultation among our constituencies towards sustainable solutions for the future.

Together, with a commitment to transparency, respect and solution-focused thinking, we know we can overcome any obstacles here at UD. We appreciate every step that each member of our community is taking to help make that happen.


Dennis Assanis

Laura Carlson

University of Delaware   •   Newark, DE   •