USF approves budget cut plan
TAMPA, Fla. (21 May 2008) – The University of South Florida Board of Trustees has approved budget cutting plans to handle a 10.6 percent shortfall in state education funding for the university. The plans include cutting $35.6 million from budgets across the USF System, but retain all tenure-earning faculty and preserve all degree offerings and majors.
The cuts include approximately 450 positions. Most of those positions have been held vacant during the university's hiring freeze, but the cuts potentially affect 70 currently filled positions—although the exact number of lay-offs will not be known until budgets are complete in June. None of those positions are tenured, or tenure-eligible, professors. USF President Judy Genshaft said the university will not cut tenured faculty members during this reduction.
"This reduction in state support comes as no surprise," President Genshaft said. "We've been planning for it throughout the fiscal year, and restrictions on hiring and spending will reduce the need for actual lay-offs. However, the loss of vacant positions leaves shortfalls in course offerings, and we will be looking to reinvest a portion of the cut to fill those gaps and meet our students’ needs."
"Our human resources department will reach out to anyone who might lose their job," President Genshaft said. "USF will assist them in making a transition or finding work through outplacement."
In addition, USF will close for the last full week of December, requiring employees to take three of their annual leave days (Dec. 22, 23,31 2008).
USF has a total budget of $1.8 billion from all sources, including state funding, tuition and student fees, restricted gifts, research grants and health care.
USF has been planning for a total cut in its state funding budgets of 15%, in order to anticipate further declines in state revenue, and to retain some of the budget to fill gaps in instruction.
On May 21, the university presented the USF Board of Trustees its college-by-college proposal for reductions, following meetings with staff leadership, Faculty Senate and student government.
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