Board of Regents Approves Budget Reduction Plans for Campuses
Atlanta — October 14, 2008
The University System of Georgia’s Board of Regents approved today the Fiscal Year 2009 six percent budget reduction amounts for the 35 System institutions. Previously at its August meeting, the regents had approved overall budget reduction amounts for the System, along with a System FY2010 budget request.
Today’s action moved beyond the broad numbers for the System, which at the six percent reduction level totals $136 million for the current fiscal year, to approve each institution’s respective amounts to meet the budget reduction instructions.
“Our institutions have responded to the serious challenges we face in terms of the state’s economy,” said University System of Georgia Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. “We are guided in our decisions by the priority to maintain, first and foremost, the System’s core academic mission. However, we must protect this core mission without sacrificing the quality our students expect and deserve.”
The institutions had earlier submitted to the chancellor’s office budget reduction amounts totaling five percent. To help institutions reach the six percent level requested by Gov. Sonny Perdue, the Board in August approved capping the employer share of the System’s indemnity health plan to the same level as its PPO plan. This will provide $20 million of the total reduction.
To meet the remaining five percent, institutions focused on five broad areas of reductions. A focus on achieving greater efficiency in administrative and academic operations as well as efforts to generate new dollars through other revenue sources accounts for $21 million of the reduction. By lengthening equipment and physical plant replacement cycles and reducing library acquisition, an additional $10 million has been identified for reductions. Institutions also are reducing operational support costs by $26 million, which includes student support services such as computer lab and library hours.
Personnel are playing a role in the reductions, with position reductions generating an additional $24 million in savings. And finally, the delay of new academic programs, the elimination of some academic programs, a decrease in the number of classes taught by full-time faculty and the reduction in the number of course offerings will save institutions another $22 million, for a total System reduction of $123 million for the 35 USG institutions.
The remaining $13 million of the $136 million total for the System is coming from reductions in related operations, such as the Agricultural Experiment Stations, the Cooperative Extension Service, Economic Development Institutes, Georgia Public Libraries, and the University System Office, among others.