TTU outlines budget cuts' effects on campus

The Tennessee Board of Regents approved Tennessee Tech University's plan for $3.87 million in budget cuts late Thursday, and the university has released details of where the cuts will be made.

TTU will eliminate 33 positions, its over-the-road motor pool operations, about 100 class sections, the printed student yearbook, several printed publications, most of its marketing funds, and much more to address the largest permanent budget reduction in recent history.

The cuts are part of Gov. Phil Bredesen's budget proposal to the legislature. In his budget, almost all state agencies — except K-12 education and mental health — took a permanent 9 percent reduction in state funds for the fiscal year beginning in July. Cuts to all of higher education amount to more than $100 million, with $57 million of that coming from TBR institutions.

The 9 percent cuts for next year follow a 5 percent reduction required of higher education institutions earlier this year. TTU had already cut $2.2 million from this year's budget.

As a result of the identified cuts, campus divisions will see the following reductions:

Academic Affairs — $2,067,941

  • Eliminate 20 positions: nine faculty (all currently vacant), three administrative (all vacant), five full-time clerical (two filled), and three part-time clerical (all filled).
  • Eliminate more than 100 class sections, creating larger class sizes and possibly increasing the time it takes students to graduate.
  • Assign more students per faculty member for advising.
  • Reduce library acquisition funds.
  • Reduce faculty development funds and opportunities.

Athletics — $278,228

  • Eliminate one administrative position (filled), and one clerical position (vacant).
  • Reduce operating and travel funds across the board.
  • Eliminate drivers for team travel.
  • Reduce training program funds.
  • Eliminate most recruitment/media guide publications and posters for all sports except basketball, football and volleyball.
  • Reduce game management support.
  • Close the indoor Tennis Center.

Business & Fiscal Affairs — $248,596

  • Eliminate four full-time clerical & support positions (all filled) and two part-time (one filled) clerical positions.
  • Eliminate the Motor Pool operations and most of its fleet of vehicles (except for facilities usage).
  • Eliminate the majority of all travel funds.
  • Reduce operating funds.
  • Reduce student labor.

Student Services — $200,182

  • Eliminate one administrative position (vacant) and one clerical position (filled).
  • Reduce operating funds.
  • Deplete all travel budgets.
  • Eliminate the printed student yearbook, providing a CD option only.
  • Dramatically reduce intramural sports operating budget and student salaries.
  • Reduce the Health Services budget.

University Advancement — $166,270

  • Eliminate two administrative positions (both vacant).
  • Deplete the majority of the university marketing budget.
  • Reduce travel and operating expenses.
  • Reduce staff in the Alumni Office by transferring one position to help with fund raising.

President's Office — $95,574

  • Eliminate one administrative position (vacant).
  • Reduce university support account funds.

Other — $1,063,600

  • University membership accounts - $50,000.
  • Appalachian Center for Craft (special appropriation reduction) - $22,500
  • Campus maintenance funds - $406,800
  • Anticipated insurance savings - $584,300

While $3.87 million was needed, the campus identified some $4.1 million to cut, planning to use the additional $246,000 to help offset expected utility and cost-of-living increases.

TBR officials predict some level of tuition increase is likely next fall. Just how much is uncertain. But even with tuition increases of 10 percent or more, TTU officials don't expect to change many of the cuts. Increased operating costs will likely take all the funds a tuition increase would provide.

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