The University of Arkansas announced its plans to offset a $3.2 million budget shortfall in a campus-wide email to faculty and staff from Chancellor G. David Gearhart yesterday.
Parts of the plan include dipping into reserve funds, implementing a hiring freeze, making across-the-board budget cuts and taking advantage of the remainder of an already-committed $1 million from intercollegiate athletics TV revenue.
According to the email, the measures do not include any furloughs or layoffs. “Our faculty and staff are in need of salary increases, not reductions,” said Gearhart, who added that he would not recommend any mid-year increases in tuition. “I still believe we made the correct decision in holding the line on tuition increases this year,” he said.
The budget shortfall is more than originally announced, said Gearhart, as UA officials have subsequently learned that the Educational Excellence Trust Fund also is affected by the cuts, bringing our total cut to $3.2 million.
While Gearhart admitted that finding ways to cut budgets without cutting into the quality of a University of Arkansas education would not be easy, he did close his email on a positive note.
“I am convinced we will get through these tough fiscal times with our quality intact and we will find a way to continue to progress as the state’s flagship university,” he said.