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UT Board of Trustees Briefed on Budget Plans, Possible Reductions in Force Announced

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MEMPHIS — The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees’ Finance and Administration Committee today heard detailed plans for how each campus and institute plans to achieve their impending budget reductions.

The University is facing a $66.5 million reduction in state appropriations systemwide for FY 2009-10, and there are contingency plans for another $25 million if required by the state.

The final budget and decisions about tuition increases will be voted on by the board at its annual meeting in June.

The budget details included plans for reductions in force, and according to current numbers there could be 777 positions cut systemwide, including 543 filled jobs.

The reductions in force could include:

  • UT Martin –- six filled, 13 total.
  • UT Chattanooga -– 24 filled, 59 total.
  • Health Science Center -– 200 filled, 200 total.
  • UT Knoxville –- 204 filled, 326 total.
  • Space Institute -– 12.3 filled, 12.3 total.
  • Institute of Agriculture -– 55 filled, 103 total.
  • Institute for Public Service -– 1 filled, 4.5 total.
  • System Administration -– 41 filled, 59 total.

Some employees have already been notified, and others will be notified in the coming months before June 30.

Plans also included a list of academic programs identified for review and possible discontinuance or consolidation. Subject to board approval, a procedure to be presented in Friday’s Academic Affairs and Student Success Committee will be used to review and decide on programs. Recommendations for programs to be discontinued will be presented to the board for action in June.

President John Petersen gave an overview of the economic situation to the committee.

“We took a look at those cuts with no tuition increases. We took a look at those cuts with 7 percent increases for Martin and Chattanooga and 9 percent for Knoxville. The difference between those is the difference between cutting muscle and cutting bone,” he told the committee.

The board meeting will continue Friday and finish with the full board at 1 p.m. CST Friday.

Dr. Petersen and the committee briefly discussed the impact of the federal stimulus package. Details of how that money will be allocated by the state are not known at this time. Stimulus money would be one-time funding.

The committee voted on several items:

Approved the use of $1 million in quasi-endowment funds to begin a fundraising campaign for the College of Veterinary Medicine. The money will be transferred from a systemwide fund established in 1998 to take in proceeds from annual affinity card payments, and it will be used to stimulate private fundraising for construction and renovation to the Large Animal Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Knoxville.

Approved the use of $1.15 million in proceeds from the UT Medical Center Lease and Transfer Agreement to repay the school bond used for the Hamilton Eye Institute. A portion of the 930 Madison Ave. Building in Memphis was renovated to house the institute. The project cost $11 million, and $1.15 million was used from the Tennessee State School Bond Authority.

Approved the revised budget for FY 2008-09. The most significant change was a $17 million mid-year reversion of appropriations, bringing the total reduction in state appropriations to $38.2 million.

Approved authorization for administrators to implement mandatory furloughs, reduction of time worked, across-the-board salary reductions for the rest of the year, subject to approval by the chief financial officer and the Executive and Compensation Committee of the board.

Approved the Institute of Agriculture’s plan to offer a voluntary retirement incentive to staff, specificially to extension agents and staff eligible for the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority offered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. The projected cost is $1.23 million to offer the incentives to an estimated 35 extension agents and 10 staff, and annual savings for next year and beyond is $1.85 million.

The Finance and Administration Committee was Webcast live.


Category: Announcements