HATTIESBURG — University of Southern Mississippi (USM) officials are reviewing budget cuts proposed by a campus-wide committee, as well as identifying additional areas for reductions, to lower spending by $11-$12 million for fiscal year 2011.
The proposed spending reductions are in response to an anticipated shortfall in state appropriations and general cost increases. The university’s Academic Planning Group (APG), under the leadership of USM provost Bob Lyman, has been working since last fall to study budget-related issues and how the university can address those.
“We have never witnessed economic conditions like the ones we face today, which necessitate that we make hard choices,” said USM president Martha Saunders. “We are in the early stages of a thoughtful, strategic process in which meeting student needs will be our top concern, while finding efficiencies without jeopardizing growth.”
The university plans to reduce spending in the academic area of the university by approximately $7.5 million, and examine non-academic areas for the remaining amount.
The process is moving forward now as the university is obligated by law to inform tenure-track faculty a year in advance if their positions are eliminated. Decisions on program deletions will be made by Sept. 1, according to Lyman. In the event of program cuts, the university will make accommodations to allow students enrolled in those programs to complete their degrees.
The APG assessed recommendations for cuts from each of the university’s five degree-granting colleges, as well as other academic support units, in order to meet the university’s spending reduction goal. Those recommendations were based on a variety of criteria, including enrollment, centrality or uniqueness to the mission of the university, impact on students and university operations and if positions could be expended while maintaining program delivery, among others.
Administrators from all non-academic support service divisions were also charged with submitting proposals for cuts in their areas, as well.
Proposed spending cuts include elimination of degree programs and unfilled positions, reduction and elimination of travel budgets and designating other programs to be self-supporting, among other recommendations.
To view the entire proposal, visit usm.edu/provost/budget_planning/USMBudgetReductionRecs.pdf.
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info