Possibility of budget cut looms at USU

USU president Stan Albrecht met with members of the Utah legislature Wednesday to present information regarding the projected effects of a newly proposed seven percent budget cut to USU’s funding.Each fiscal year the Utah legislature examines the state’s budget and looks for ways to reconcile any existing deficits. This year Utah’s budget is roughly $313 million short of projected spending costs. In order to balance the budget, Utah Congress is proposing a seven percent funding cut to all state-sponsored programs, including higher education. The seven percent cut, if enacted, would be in addition to USU’s budget cuts from previous years.Albrecht told members of the higher education appropriations subcommittee – the committee tasked with deciding how much state funding to allot to higher education institutions – that reducing USU’s budget by seven percent would potentially require USU to drop 270 courses, 68 regular faculty members, one executive position and 74 staff members.The cut would force USU to reduce faculty, increase class sizes, and hire more adjunct professors to make up for the lack of full-time professors, Albrecht said.He said USU’s budget is already projected to be in the negative due to past budget cuts, the rate of inflation, and a steady increase in student enrollment over the past few years. He said the combined factors create a $49.8 million deficit for the school, even without additional budget cuts.USU’s director of state and federal relations, Neil Abercrombie, said the proposed cut is not final. “What (legislative) fiscal analysts offered are not proposals,” he said. “They’re just offers on the table to begin discussion. So, it’s not a cause for alarm.”

<a href=”http://www.aggietownsquare.com/”>To read the rest of this article on the Utah Statesman website, click here.</a>

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