Campus News

FY2010 state budget will offer ‘little relief’ from cutbacks at UGA

FY2010 state budget will offer ‘little relief’ from cutbacks at UGA

As anticipated, the state portion of the university’s 2010 fiscal year budget offers little relief from the cutbacks already experienced in fiscal year 2009, which amounted to approximately 10 percent. The University System’s fiscal year 2010 budget was cut by $236 million, which is an 11.7 percent reduction. The exact details of UGA’s 2010 fiscal year budget will not be known until the board of regents allocates formula funding and establishes tuition rates at its April meeting. 

There is no salary increase pool in the 2010 fiscal year budget, which begins July 1.

“Given the difficult national and statewide economic climate, no one should be surprised that the fiscal year 2010 budget offers challenges that are at least as difficult as fiscal year 2009,” said UGA President Michael F. Adams. “It will probably be a month before we know all the budget factors for fiscal year 2010, including but not limited to student yield, formula funding, tuition and fee increases, retention rates and the signature of the governor on the budget passed by the legislature.

“We will reserve definitive statements until we know more about the total budget picture and will once again make every effort to provide employment for as many people as possible,” he added. “All options must remain on the table, though, and nothing can be ruled out at the present time.”

The state also will apply $92.6 million of the federal stimulus funds it received to offset cuts to the formula that is used to allocate funds to System institutions.

The capital projects budget, which is separate from the operations budget, contained funding for two UGA projects:
• $26.6 million in bonds for the Special Collections Library; and
• $5.9 million in bonds for a new central utility plant in the northwest precinct which will initially serve the new library. 

The budget also provides an additional $7.75 million for medical education expansion through a partnership with the Medical College of Georgia. This marks the third year that the state has committed funding for expanded medical education to help address the shortage of physicians in the state. The funding includes the necessary support for expansion to Athens and the first 40 medical students who will enroll in August 2010. These programs will ultimately move to the Navy Supply Corps School property when ownership is transferred to UGA in September 2011.

“I am very grateful for the successes on the capital side, as well as the money supporting the MCG/UGA Medical Partnership. This is important support at a critical time,” said Adams.

Two pieces of legislation that had been opposed by UGA and the System were not passed: SB 169, which would have limited embryonic stem cell research, and HB 700, which would have transferred oversight and management of construction projects from the board of regents to the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission. HB 740 and SB 267, which will allow the transfer of funds between the Optional Retirement Plan and the Teachers Retirement System, were introduced. By General Assembly rules, retirement bills must be introduced in one session and acted upon in the next.

The regents will meet on April 14-15.

“After the April regents’ meeting, we will have most of the revenue information that we need to start preparing our 2010 fiscal year budget,” said Tim Burgess, senior vice president for finance and administration. “We will then move into about a five-week process of budget development that will culminate in the budget that we will submit to the regents for approval.” 

On April 23, the president will present a budget update to University Council. He will hold a campus forum on the budget in May or June at a date to be determined.