The UT system will limit hiring, prepare for potential layoffs, cut travel and halt equipment purchases, according to an e-mail from UTC Chancellor Roger Brown to all faculty and staff.
The message, sent Monday, outlined the system’s cost-cutting measures in the wake of recent budget cuts.
“I know we can weather this fiscal storm and emerge a stronger, better university,” Mr. Brown wrote in his e-mail.
State appropriations were reduced earlier this year to $43.9 million, and an additional $1.5 million was cut from that amount, Dr. Brown said. Another 7 percent may be cut from the 2009-2010 academic year, he said.
“I know that these are troublesome and stressful times,” he wrote. “I truly believe that each of you is dedicated to service to our students and our community, and I share your frustration when the lack of resources prohibits fulfilling our mission to the highest level possible.”
According to Mr. Brown’s e-mail, UT campuses will develop a process for the review and implementation of potential reductions in force or layoffs.
Chuck Cantrell, spokesman for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga campus, said UTC does not have plans for reductions in force to meet budget cuts at this time, but officials realize such reductions may be needed in the future.
“We have had so many layers of cuts, and we don’t know what is going to come,” said Mr. Cantrell.
The cuts highlighted in the e-mailed were identified by UT System President John Petersen and UT system officials and all items may not be adopted on every system campus, said Mr. Cantrell.
Out-of-state travel will be limited to emergency and mandatory situations, and student travel, including sports, will be under the same scrutiny, Mr. Brown wrote.
“The use of teleconferencing and video-conferencing should be maximized,” the e-mail read.
Dr. Brown also asked faculty and staff to conserve energy and only purchase equipment needed for critical tasks.
While some say Dr. Brown has been careful about making cuts as funding dries up, faculty is concerned about the effects future cuts will have on students and professionals, said Shela Van Ness, associate professor of sociology at UTC and vice president of the UCW-CWA, a union of UT employees.
Travel restrictions will hurt faculty who are evaluated based on the number of research presentations made at conferences, said Ms. Van Ness. With the possibility of layoffs, Ms. Van Ness said she also expects the already-large class sizes at UTC to expand, hurting the level of education at the university.
“We are expecting further cuts in people,” she said. “It is unfortunate.”
Joan Garrett McClane has been a staff writer for the Times Free Press since August 2007. Before becoming a general assignment writer for the paper, she wrote about business, higher education and the court systems. She grew up the oldest of five sisters near Birmingham, Ala., and graduated with a master's and bachelor's degrees in journalism from the University of Alabama. Before landing her first full-time job as a reporter at the Times Free Press, ...