University Details Budget Cuts

Posted: October 10, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Daniel Walsch

Details of Mason’s plan to comply with a state directive that called for it to reduce its budget by five percent were outlined at last week’s meeting of the university’s Board of Visitors.

According to the administration, the five percent cut translates to $6.9 million. These monies were removed from the following areas: $6.8 million from Mason’s general fund; and $150,000 from monies set aside to support research. To cover these reductions, the university has instituted the following measures:

  • Reduced the education and general funds of all units by 1.5 percent ($4.5 million)

  • Reduced the university’s reserve ($300,000)

  • Reduced supplemental salary adjustment funds ($157,000)

  • Reduced research funds by 1.5 percent ($45,000)

  • Drawn from projected additional tuition revenue ($757,000)

  • Used interest income/rebate beyond original budget ($521,000)

  • Drawn from auxiliary enterprises ($500,000)

  • Drawn from miscellaneous areas ($126,303)

In reviewing how most of Mason’s units handled the budget reductions they were asked to make, Maurice Scherrens, senior vice president, said the majority of them identified savings from position turnovers or vacancies, training and professional development, deferral of special facilities and building maintenance projects and reductions in other nonpersonnel expenditures.

“These are serious cuts and not to be taken lightly,” said Scherrens. “But it is our intent that we will not compromise the university’s mission of providing our students with the highest quality education.

“As an institution with limited resources that has stepped up in recent years to provide greater access to higher education for highly qualified high school graduates, these budget cuts catch us at a time when we are already operating very lean,” he continued. “Every indication is that these budget cuts will be permanent, and if so, some of our short-term strategies will need to be modified to become long-term base budget reductions.”

The cuts are the result of the state’s efforts to deal with a $641 million revenue shortfall.

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