Budget reduction plan raises questions
Fears of a deeper economic recession spurred Chancellor Walter Wendler and the Faculty Senate to debate ways to offset consequences on Tuesday.
A discussion regarding Wendler’s memo to come up with a plan to reduce spending by as much as 5 to 10 percent for the year fiscal year 2004 dominated most of the Faculty Senate meeting Tuesday.
The memo, which was circulated on July 16, 2002, asks department heads to draft a reduction plan that will cut spending by 5 percent. Wendler is also asking departments to plan a long-term budget that, combined with the 5 percent plan, will provide 10 percent savings through cuts of programs and services deemed unproductive.
“If we want to be a research university, we have to make some hard decisions,” Wendler said. In the past, Wendler has said the cuts are necessary because of the state’s financial situation.
Department heads were asked in July to submit plans for the cuts by Nov. 22.
Wendler said the reductions or reallocation of funding should not hurt the academic mission of the school and be consistent with the goals of the ongoing Southern at 150 visionary plan.
Some of the faculty senate members expressed concern and confusion as to how to go about with the plan. Cutting programs deemed marginally productive may be a result of carrying out the plan.
“You must have an idea of what’s indispensable,” said Frederick Williams, associate professor of foreign languages and literature.
Wendler said he understands the difficulty in making decisions in regards to his plan but stressed the importance of being prepared for foreseeable economic circumstances that may undermine the aims of the University.
“When push comes to shove, we know strong programs from weak programs,” he said.
Reporter Jane Huh can be reached at [email protected]