From the Vice President

May 2009

As you know, the University is not immune from the downturn in the economy, and, unfortunately, Princeton employees are being affected both personally and at work. Many of you are inquiring about what lies ahead and how you can help. And you have been forthcoming in expressing interest, willingness and desire to offer suggestions to assist the University. 

I am struck by your appreciative response to President Tilghman’s recurring message about Princeton’s goal of preserving “human capital.” You have graciously accepted the decisions to limit salary increases and eliminate the staff picnic. Your understanding of these circumstances has been gratifying and signifies your commitment to this great institution. Countless individuals have been collaborating tirelessly to assist University’s leaders to develop a strategy for reducing spending without compromising our core, foundational priorities.
 
Recently, the president spoke to a group of assembled managers. She acknowledged the outstanding contributions Princeton’s staff made over the past seven years when times were good. She also observed that what we do and how we act during the lean years will be the basis on which we will be judged by future generations. In order for us to succeed, we need to head in the same direction to pursue our common goals. We can do this by working together and communicating frequently, openly and candidly.
 
No doubt, real challenges face all of us as we adapt to the new, reduced budgetary baseline. As programs, services, and resources are rethought, it is vitally important that we keep in mind the University’s values and standard for excellence. We must remember to be communicative, patient, kind and helpful to one another. We need to be flexible in our thinking and open to conducting business efficiently, collaboratively and differently.
 
We understand that individuals may have personal concerns about the economic climate, which, in turn, stimulate worries or rumors. Please talk to your supervisor if you have any questions or call Human Resources for information. Refer to the University’s cost-savings website www.princeton.edu/savings.  Also, remember that our Employee Assistance Program and other resources, described on page 2 , are available to help you.
 
And, as always, I want to hear from you and get your feedback!