Campus News

Regents adopt budget reduction contingency plans

Although state revenue collections rose in June and July over the same months a year ago-the first two-month increase period in two years-the board of regents at its Aug. 11 meeting still adopted 4, 6 and 8 percent budget reduction plans as a contingency.

The state closed fiscal year 2010 with an almost 10 percent revenue decrease from the previous year and is down 19 percent over the past two years.

Thus, as a precaution, Gov. Sonny Perdue has directed that state agencies withhold 4 percent from their spending. At UGA, a 4 percent reduction is $16.3 million from the opening 2011 fiscal year budget, $12.9 million coming from resident instruction.

This is in addition to $4.8 million in federal stimulus money that was initially included in the 2011 fiscal year UGA budget but then was cut by the state Office of Planning and Budget as the fiscal year began.

“The main effect is to delay rebuilding initiatives that have been planned to begin recovery from the recession,” said Tim Burgess, senior vice president for finance and administration.

“While caution is important, I am pleased that we are able to proceed with the second ­faculty hiring initiative to fill another 25 tenure-track positions that have been left vacant,” added Jere Morehead, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “Since most of these positions would not begin until fall 2011, delaying the funding into 2012 fiscal year should not slow the initiative.”

Other holdbacks include maintenance ($2 million), computer replacements ($1.8 million) and library materials ($1 million). The tuition increase approved by regents earlier this year helped mitigate the most recent reductions, Burgess said.