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Will Austin Peay face more budget cuts?

November 25, 2003


Gov. Phil Bredesens proposed 5 percent budget cut to higher education could mean a $1.6 million loss in funds for Austin Peay and a fourth year without funds for building renovations, according to The Leaf-Chronicle (More cuts at APSU in budget request," Nov. 25).
November 25, 2003


Gov. Phil Bredesen's proposed 5 percent budget cut to higher education could mean a $1.6 million loss in funds for Austin Peay and a fourth year without funds for building renovations, according to The Leaf-Chronicle (“More cuts at APSU in budget request," Nov. 25).

Last June, the University resubmitted three capital projects: renovations to the Trahern Building, construction of a new library and the renovation of the current library into a student support services building. The University requested about $38.5 million from the Tennessee Board of Regents for the projects.

The University also has requested about $9 million in funds for capital maintenance projects from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, including “improvements to the Armory, Memorial Health pool renovations, space modifications to the Farm Building, an underground electrical upgrade, repair of Dunn Center bleachers and renovations to Governors Stadium,” according to The Leaf-Chronicle.

Mitch Robinson, vice president for finance and administration, said the McCord Building is on the TBR list of priority projects for 2004-05.

Austin Peay also has requested approval for three other projects: roof replacement at Emerald Hill, the demolition of six houses and parking lot development in the vacant lots created by the demolition. State money will not be used for these projects.

Bredesen encouraged higher education leaders to take advantage of low interest rates and search for ways to raise money privately for capital improvements.

According to a Nov. 24 article in The Tennessean, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission recommended the 5 percent cut to Bredesen. However, some fear the plan could lead to a significant hike in tuition, since THEC's plan bases budget cuts on each school's amount of tuition and state funding.

Tennessee Board of Regents Chancellor Charles Manning and other TBR officials have spoken out against the plan, saying it would “shift money paid by students into areas that have nothing to do with their time on campus,” according to The Tennessean.
—Rebecca Mackey