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Virginia universities' woes similar to those of Tennessee

May 13, 2002

Virginia Tech is one of several universities in that state struggling to maintain academic standards while facing financial difficulties. The university announced this week that it plans to eliminate more than 200 faculty, staff, administrative and graduate teaching positions next year.

A total of about 88 teaching and research faculty jobs, 55 administrative and professional faculty positions, 50 staff jobs and 16 graduate-teaching-assistant positions will be eliminated through attrition or forced layoffs. An additional 90 positions will be refilled at lower salary levels, according to an article in "The Chronicle of Higher Education" last week.

The changes were prompted by a 13-percent cut in the operating funds state lawmakers have given the university for the 2002-3 fiscal year.

Virginia Tech also is raising tuition by 9 percent for the coming academic year. But the increased revenue will not make up for the state cuts, the president said in the article.

"I'm concerned what's going to happen to the students. But you have to take what you've got in front of you."