The Campus Chronicle
Vol. XVIII, Issue 37
for the Amherst campus of the University of Massachusetts
June 27, 2003

 Page One Grain & Chaff Obituaries Letters to the Chronicle Archives Feedback Weekly Bulletin

 Page One Grain & Chaff Obituaries Letters to the Chronicle Archives Feedback Weekly Bulletin




Lombardi to seek fee hike, makes deeper reductions

By Sarah R. Buchholz, Chronicle staff

C hancellor John V. Lombardi announced an additional $5.66 million in budget reductions in a June 24 memo to the campus. The reductions, paired with the $15.8 million in cuts Lombardi previously announced for a total of $21.5 million, put the campus just over half-way toward covering a $41 million gap in funding for fiscal year 2004.

     The reductions came in the form of staff, programming, and non-tenure-track faculty. Lombardi has said he will avoid cuts to tenured and tenure-track faculty if at all possible.

     Advancement and Alumni Affairs saw their budget cut more than double from $180,600 to $380,600. Research Affairs took a $200,000 hit raising its budget reduction to half a million.

    The capital plan reduction was doubled to total $1.6 million, academic affairs will lose an additional $50,000 to bring its losses to date to $1.56 million, and the estimated reduction to central university assessment was increased by half a million dollars to $1.25 million.

     Athletics was cut $50,000 in addition to $2.5 million already on the table. Director Ian McCaw said Athletics has developed five possible "wide-ranging" models/strategies for cutting its budget.

    "They involve both changes in intercollegiate programs and personnel reduction," McCaw said.

     Both the Campus Chronicle and a category labeled "Design and Production" were cut an additional $40,000. The cut to the Chronicle is a salary line. Steve Robbins, director of Creative Services, said the nature of the design and production cut has yet to be determined.

     Marie Hess, retiring deputy director of the Fine Arts Center, said the additional cuts to the FAC were "such a shock."

     "It's almost 50 percent of our campus support," she said. "It's all state money, so that's all salaries."

     Hess said the FAC would try to mitigate the personnel cuts by spreading the reductions to programming and maintenance, as well. The FAC will try to raise more money she said, and increasing ticket prices may be one method.

    Also in the cuts, the Marching Band lost more than 19 percent of its revenue.

    The largest line item in Tuesday's report was the $1 million additional cut to UMass Extension, for a total loss of $1.253 million. Steve Demski, associate vice chancellor for Outreach, said the cut will cause Extension "to accelerate some processes that we are already doing.

     "We're going to try to increase the amount of grant funding, contract funding, fee-based revenue and philanthropic giving to make up for this reduction."

     Demski said the long-term strategy is to "support community-based faculty and staff on these types of entrepreneurial dollars.

     "In the short-term, there will be some layoffs of very valuable people."

     Several departments said they would ask for bridge funding to help them adjust to the new budget.

    With a nearly $20 million gap in the University budget remaining, Lombardi said, "Reductions beyond... a total of $21.5 million would likely render the campus unable to function, support its students and faculty, or sustain its research and service missions." The memo indicated that Lombardi expects to see a student fee increase considered at a meeting of the President's Council and the Management Council scheduled to be convened by the President's Office June 30.

     "If we have not succeeded in meeting the legislature's requirements, either through budget reductions or increased revenue by that time, I will then turn to the extremely destructive consideration of [Category] IIIb issues," he said.

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