May 6, 2019
You may have heard the news: The University of Oregon is facing difficult budget challenges stemming from a drop in international enrollment coupled with rising operating costs. As a result, University of Oregon President Michael Schill has announced $11.6 million in campus-wide budget reductions—reductions that will undoubtedly affect our museum.
The university is currently projecting a $225,000 cut to our museum’s annual budget. While we are fortunate to have additional revenue sources—including gifts, grants, and membership contributions—this reduction in general fund support presents a major challenge and forces us to think creatively about the future of our exhibits, education programs, research, and collections.
As plans for the campus-wide reductions continue to take shape, we want to assure everyone in our museum family—students, researchers, members, faculty and Tribal partners, K-12 educators, volunteers, and donors—that we have every intention of surviving and thriving through this difficult budget cycle. The museum has faced significant funding shortfalls in the past, and thanks to our diverse community of supporters and patrons, we have found ways to weather these storms and continue to offer our award-winning museum services to the UO and Oregonians around the state.
We won’t sugarcoat the situation: We’re facing a serious shortfall. Its impact will likely be felt throughout the museum and the communities we serve, and by the thousands of visitors we welcome annually to the UO campus. We also know that our museum family is a strong one—and like all strong families, ours will face and overcome this hurdle together.
Thank you for your continued support of our mission. We will keep you posted as our plans develop, and together, we’ll continue to make science happen here at the museum, on campus, and throughout Oregon.