Campus News

Under new budget restrictions, limited staff layoffs possible

A limited number of UGA staff members may face layoffs during fiscal year 2012 due to a $50 million reduction in the university’s base budget, UGA President Michael Adams told the University Council at its April 21 meeting.  

Departments across ­campus will receive, on average, a 2.2 percent reduction in funding beginning July 1, because of less state funding and the lack of federal stimulus dollars.

Those cuts mean that deans, vice presidents and unit directors will face “tough decisions” about where to cut, although faculty will not face layoffs, Adams said.

“Institutionally, our funding priorities this year have been hiring new tenure-track faculty as well as lecturers, graduate assistantships, funding travel through the provost’s office, library resources and academic advising,” he said. “Sixty new tenure-track faculty positions have been approved. Twenty-eight already have been hired and 32 searches are under way to complete this critically important initiative.”

A 3 percent hike in tuition and a $250 increase in the research university fee paid by students will help to offset about half the state money lost this year. Shrewd management by UGA administrators will help address the rest, Adams said. Indeed, for the first time the university will receive more fundsfrom tuition and fees than it does from the state of Georgia.

“We have weathered the past few years with relatively little disruption to our primary mission through skilled management and a focus on strategic priorities,” Adams said.

“Our budget leadership team has anticipated much of what has come to pass and planned accordingly. We particularly wanted the units to manage the opening budget this fiscal year without the constant concern of additional cuts, and once the fiscal year 2011 budget was implemented, we absorbed the subsequent reductions centrally.

“Decisions about allocating resources have been-and will continue to be-made based on strategic priorities developed with input from every unit,” he added. “We will strengthen the academic environment, and we will continue to fulfill the mission of the university.”