State reduces cut to 6.25%

    Yesterday Gov. Tim Kaine announced $300 million in cuts across Virginia, including a 6.25 percent cut from the state portion of the College’s budget, in order to make up for the state’s $641 million budget shortfall.

    p. According to an e-mail College President Gene Nichol sent last night to students, faculty and staff, the 6.25 percent reduction, which amounts to over $3 million, will hurt the College, but no layoffs will occur.

    p. In the e-mail, Nichol wrote that the College is now looking into cutting aspects of the budget that will have the least affect on the College’s “core academic mission.”

    p. A memo from Vice President of Financial Affairs Sam Jones that was attached to the e-mail said that the College was now revising its spending reduction plan. The College had been told in September to expect a budget cut in state funds of 7.5 percent, or $3.6 million.

    p. “[This] is not the much smaller and less painful request for which we’ve hoped and worked,” Nichol wrote in his e-mail.

    p. He added that he would continue to ask the governor to make higher education a priority as the 2008 budget is planned. Both Nichol and Jones said that the Faculty University Priorities Committee, along with the presidents and deans of the College is now going to try to find the best way to deal with the budget cuts.

    p. Nichol said that they would have to look at new hiring practices and other expenditures.

    p. In addition, Jones said that a 5 percent reduction in Virginia maintenance reserve appropriations would also affect some facilities maintenance projects, such as roof repairs.

    p. “At this point, the College’s hiring review process remains in place until we have accumulated sufficient savings so that, when combined with other budget reduction actions, we have reached the required $3 million target,” Jones wrote in his memo.

    p. Jones added that if state budget reductions continue in the future, it may affect the budget recommendations that the Finance Office makes to the College’s Board of Visitors for the 2008-2009 fiscal year in the spring.

    p. Budget reductions for higher education institutions across the state ranged from 5 to 6.25 percent.


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