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Regents Approve Shift of Health Insurance Reserves to Meet FY2005 Budget Needs

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Atlanta — November 16, 2004

he Board of Regents took action today to formally approve the transfer of $27.8 million from the University System of Georgia’s health insurance reserve to assist University System institutions in meeting budget needs for Fiscal Year 2005.

This action, approved today by the Board of Regents’ Business and Finance Committee, awaits the full board’s approval on Wed., Nov. 17. It is the next step in a series of moves to be taken to reduce the total $68.7 million budget cut to University System institutions announced in August, when a decision was made not to shift the June 30, 2005, state payroll to July 1, 2006.

At that time, all University System institutions were instructed by University System Chancellor Thomas C. Meredith to plan for the full $68.7 million cut, which was allocated proportionally to all 34 institutions.

“We have made a number of tough budget decisions with the overarching goal of protecting the classroom,” said Meredith. “We continue to try to reduce the impact of this cut on our institutions at a time when demand for public higher education is steadily increasing.”

Today’s board decision reduces the amount of the cut by $27.8 million, distributed proportionally among all System institutions. The next steps require action by the General Assembly in January related to the Fiscal Year 2005 Amended Budget. At that time, the legislature will be asked to approve the shift of $9.4 million from funds originally allocated for a now-lapsed project at the University of Georgia, as well as a state allocation of $3.9 million to the University System. In total, these two legislative actions would provide an additional $13.3 million to the University System to offset the original August reduction.

These actions by the General Assembly, along with the Board’s action today on the University System’s health insurance reserve, will reduce the original cut to the System for Fiscal Year 2005 to $27.6 million. Chancellor Meredith has requested the 34 presidents to submit plans detailing how the cuts will be absorbed at the institutional level.

List of the $68.7 million in budget cuts distributed by USG institutions (PDF)

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