Uncertainty regarding state funding prompted the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees to pass a temporary budget Thursday that carries the university and the health center through the month.
The temporary budget passed Thursday for fiscal year is $1.02 billion, $20 million less than last year‘s budget. It spends $1.02 billion for the university campuses and $785.0 million for the health center.
According to Richard Gray, vice president and chief financial officer, the university was notified on June 17 of a $17.6 million reductions in state appropriations for the university, and a $16.8 million reductions for the health center.
The state’s Office of Policy and Management has indicated more reductions will be made based on retirements prior to September 2, according to a statement from Gray to the board members.
The board planned to approve the spending plan for fiscal year 2012 for both the university and the health center, but delayed the approval until more information on state funding was available.
State appropriations were originally approved on April 21, which lead to measures being taken to fill the $50 million budget gap.
The 2.5 percent tuition increase approved on April 21, which was the lowest in several years, will only fill $8.8 million of the $49 million to $50 million estimated deficit in state funding.
During the board meeting Gray presented the cuts including non-academic cuts across the board, and nearly $5.5 million from academic support, which included putting hiring and purchases greater than $5,000 on hold.
But work is being done to bring more revenue in to combat the increased deficit in state funding.
“We’ve been working for sometime now identifying areas of alternative financing,” said Gray during the board meeting, including expanding the summer session programs and adjusting the parking on campus.
The university agreed to hire an outside firm to address new sources of revenue, and work with the university on ways to decrease spending earlier this year.
Susan Herbst, addressing the board for the first time as president of the university, noted that the university and the state are facing tough times but work was being done.
“We’ve been very aggressive addressing issues that face the university,” said Herbst. “We will keep that a very high priority.”
Herbst lauded the new Health Center and technology park projects, which are projected to create thousands of jobs and thanked a state government she said “truly understands higher education.”
The university plans to continue with capital projects including the bioscience center and technology park despite their budgetary issues.