New FSU Budget Calls for Elimination of 200 Jobs
Florida State University is set to unveil a three year proposal that would cut $56 million from the university’s budget and lay off as many as 200 faculty and staff.
The university's budget crisis committee has been meeting since December and released a plan Friday that would help it meet its goals. The plan, to be presented to the Board of Trustees next week, includes up to 200 layoffs (including about 25 tenured professors), the merging and restructuring of many academic programs and a 15 percent tuition increase.
It does not call for across-the-board salary cuts or furloughs for employees.
“For more than two years, we have worked diligently to manage these cuts, but we are now at the point where we will have to restructure or suspend some programs to preserve the core educational mission of the university,” President T.K. Wetherell, said in a statement.
Cuts could have been worse, actually. Earlier in the year, the school had floated ideas of closing entire departments and even branch campuses. But stimulus money staved off some of those potential cuts.
Among the programs being suspended are recreation and leisure management, physical education, math education, and science education. However, that doesn't mean classes won't be taught in those areas, a Florida State official said. Some of those classes could be offered under different programs.
Cuts are also being proposed for student affairs, which includes the career center, international center, student union and counseling.
“We wish we were not forced to take these actions, but the campus will be better served by targeted solutions rather than by diluting the educational experience for all,” said Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost Lawrence G. Abele. “We want to put Florida State in the strongest position we can until the economy begins to recover.”
The rest of the state university system is not expected to fare quite so badly, though all of the universities are asking for the maximum 15 percent tuition increase. However, the University of Florida is looking at significant reductions as well.
UF has proposed $30.6 million in specific cuts and 58 layoffs. Other positions will be eliminated through attrition.
The Florida State Board of Trustees meets Wednesday to review and vote on the three-year budget plan. The Board of Governors will meet the following day in Orlando where it will discuss how the universities are dealing with budget reductions and sign off on tuition increases.