UT Trimming $29M from Budget

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    Bevo has something to snort about, Forbes says UT has the most valuable team in college sports.

    The University of Texas is putting together a proposal for a 5 percent cut that could trim about $29 million from the state-funded portion of its budget.

    Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus last week told state agencies, including higher education institutions, to submit budget-reduction plans by Feb. 15.

    "It's a sizable amount of money," UT President William Powers Jr. said Monday during a meeting of the Faculty Council. "This is not good news."

    A public forum was scheduled Tuesday in Austin to discuss a proposed tuition increase of nearly 4 percent in each of the next two school years.

    "We understand the economic climate. The system has been a leader in looking at organizational efficiencies. So we're going to look at this and work diligently with our campuses on how we navigate this course right now," said UT System spokesman Anthony de Bruyn.

    UT's overall budget, including legislative appropriations, federal research grants, tuition, gifts and other items, rose 2.8 percent to $2.1 billion for the fiscal year that began Sept. 1.

    But after covering higher health insurance charges, increased student financial aid and other costs, UT had just $6.7 million more than the previous fiscal year for academic purposes, the Austin American-Statesman reported Tuesday.

    Powers has led an effort to free up millions of dollars for retaining and recruiting top faculty members. Some staff members have been dismissed, and more layoffs could be in the works. About 36 percent of faculty members got raises this year.

    Power said it was not clear whether the UT System's 15 campuses might each have to trim 5 percent of the portion of their budgets funded by general state revenue or whether strategic reductions were possible.

    "I wish I had more definitive information," he said.