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

Athletics — $278,228

Business & Fiscal Affairs — $248,596

Student Services — $200,182

University Advancement — $166,270

President's Office — $95,574

Other — $1,063,600

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.