University considering non-traditional methods to save money

Andy Ouriel and Andy Ouriel

In an effort to save money due to an expected defecit for the 2010 fiscal year, the University is looking at several options to make necessary budget reductions, including faculty and staff members employed year-round taking mandatory, unpaid vacations.

According to an e-mail sent Wednesday to faculty and staff members from President Carol Cartwright, The BG News has learned the University has to make up a $6-$10 million defecit.

With an expected three percent enrollment decrease, along with a stuggling economy, several cost-cutting programs have to be implemented to help the Univeristy get out of this defecit which potentially includes: Mandatory, unpaid furloughs for staff and faculty members employed year-round: higher-paid staff making in excess of $50,000 would have to take the longest unpaid vacations. Employees making the lowest salaries would not have to participate. Decreasing the amount of courses offered while increasing the number of students in classes: due to the expected enrollment drop Cartwright said, ‘…We do not need the same number of course sections for fewer students.’ Restructuring and possible elimination of administrative, academic units and programs More of an emphasis on enrollment recruitment: to combat a 2,000 drop of undergraduate on-campus students from 2006. Charging senior-level employees for parking spaces: asking employees to pay for their reserved parking spaces could save upwards of $500,000.

Marketing and Communications Director Dave Kielmeyer said up to 500 employees might be affected by the furlough, but could all be avoided by taking different courses of actions to save money.

‘It does look like we will need to make some more reductions. It’s just a matter of where and how,’ Kielmeyer said.

Recommendations will be made when the University, along with Cartwright will take the budget plan to a board of trustees meeting on June 26.