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Proposed cuts would eliminate 260 filled, full-time positions, says TBR

March 11, 2003

Plans to reduce base budgets by 9 percent submitted by the Tennessee Board of Regents' 45 institutions of higher education would result in the elimination of 650 full-time positions (260 of them filled), 161 part-time positions and 119 seasonal job slots, according to TBR spokesperson Mary Morgan.

Of the full-time positions, 260 are currently filled, as are 59 of the part-time positions. Savings from salaries and benefits account for 58 percent of the proposed cuts, with an additional 31 percent coming from a variety of measures to reduce operating costs. March 11, 2003

Plans to reduce base budgets by 9 percent submitted by the Tennessee Board of Regents' 45 institutions of higher education would result in the elimination of 650 full-time positions (260 of them filled), 161 part-time positions and 119 seasonal job slots, according to TBR spokesperson Mary Morgan.

Of the full-time positions, 260 are currently filled, as are 59 of the part-time positions. Savings from salaries and benefits account for 58 percent of the proposed cuts, with an additional 31 percent coming from a variety of measures to reduce operating costs.

While instruction and student services functions were cut proportionally less than other areas, they still face significant reductions. The system-wide percentage of cuts allocated to those two functions is less than their percentage of this year's budget.

Instruction comprises 51 percent of the FY 2002-2003 base budget but is taking only 45 percent of the budget cuts. The student services function accounts for 13 percent of the 2002-2003 budget but only 12 percent of the cuts. Institutional support, which is 12 percent of the budget, would suffer 15 percent of the cuts.

Fifteen programs at 12 Tennessee Technology Centers would be eliminated.

The 9 percent cut, which amounts to $57,346,200, would affect everything, the TBR says: class size, the number of class offerings, the temperatures in buildings, student aid and counseling, and travel.

Chancellor Charles Manning said, "Although I am pleased that our campuses were able to keep the proposed cuts to instruction and student services below their shares of the base budget, it is impossible to hold anything harmless given the magnitude of the reduction required.

"And in addition to the cuts, we're facing increased operating costs next year due to inflation and higher utility prices. There is no question students would feel and see the difference under this scenario."

Making up the entire 9 percent reduction by raising tuition is out of the question, Manning says. "It would require increases of over 57 percent at the ETSU College of Medicine, 44 percent at the technology centers, 19 percent at the community colleges and as high as 15 percent at the universities. But we certainly are looking at the likelihood of tuition increases."

Austin Peay administrators are still in the process of reviewing potential budget cuts. Information about the impact of the cuts on the University will be released early next week.

"We anticipate that with an adequate tuition increase, approved by the TBR, we will have only a minimal number of filled positions eliminated," says APSU President Sherry Hoppe.