__Nichol sends e-mail to students about College response to budget cuts__
College President Gene Nichol sent an e-mail to students Tuesday explaining the recent 7 percent budget cuts mandated by Gov. Kaine for the College, Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia. He informed students that the College submitted a draft plan Monday afternoon. The plans will be available after the governor reviews and releases them.
p. The College was originally given a target budget cut of 7.5 percent, but was informed last Friday that the cut had been decreased to 7 percent, Vice President of Finance Sam Jones said.
p. “That’s $3.4 million as opposed to $3.6 million, but we’re still going to continue to make our case with the people in Richmond,” he said.
p. Student Assembly President Zach Pilchen ’09 could not comment on the contents of the proposal.
p. “I can tell you that myself and Lindsey Kraatz, the Grad Council president, were asked for input, and we tried to get as much student input as possible in that very short time,” Pilchen said. “When we release it to the public, I will have a lot of say on it.”
p. Because students and faculty budget numbers are set for this year, the College would have to take steps like limiting hiring or deferring the purchasing of equipment to get through this year.
“The key here is that they are asking us to do a reduction in the current year; however we have all the faculty and all the students for the year, so flexibility is limited,” Jones said.
p. If cuts continue year after year, the College will have to examine cutting positions and programs.
p. Under Virginia law, each year the College has to offer a broad range of graduate and undergraduate programs, maintain high academic standards, undergo a continuous review of its academics, increase its level of externally funded research, increase access to students across the state, assure affordability and admit a certain number of transfer students from community colleges, Pilchen said.
p. “The fact of the matter is that Richmond expects a lot of the College,” he said. “Essentially we have a mission statement, but it is hard to fulfill when we have budget cuts.”
p.Nichol also noted the state’s high standards.
p. “I note that the governor has indicated, just today, the powerful role that higher education plays in the commonwealth’s future — and his strong support for it,” Nichol said in the e-mail. “A 7 percent cut, should it come, will make that value difficult to sustain.”