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Terrence Forsythe, Center College Chancellor, held a public meeting yesterday in the Student Center Auditorium to address the present budget dilemma and discussed planned remedies.
Forsythe began the convocation by praiseing the College's progress in recent years.
He noted increased research support and the near completion of the new sciences and engineering bldg.
"Our challenge is to maintain this level of advancement in the context of a changing
And changing it is. Under the formula used by the state Higher Education Commission to alocate state funds, Center College is to receive 1,400,000 dollars less this year than it did last year. This decrease, coupled with the college's responsibility for raising one per cent of a 3 per cent salary increase, means that Center College is facing a $7,000,000 shortfall between what it wants to do and what projected revenues will allow it to do, said Forsythe.
Forsythe said strategies to close this budget gap are being pursued and they are centered on cutting base budgets across campuys, reducing future committments, and looking for ways to increase revenue.
While student activity fees are uneffected in this situation, Forsythe estimated a three percent increase in tuition will take place as one method ot" increasing revenue.
"These budget reductions can not be achieved however without a reduction in force through some lay-offs, said Forsythe, sparking several questions from the audience. Diana Hunter, President of the Faculty Senate, voiced concerns as to who would be targeted by these layoffs.
"The staff reductions will be prioritized by importence of services" Forsythe replied, assuring immunity to tenured and tenure-track faculty.
"The reductions will come from leaving positions vacant" Fred Mathieson, Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs said.
Forsythe said administrative services and support will be reduced by 12%, where as
academic units will be cut by 4%.
Forsythe feels that the present budget problem will not soon disappear. Center College may recieve even less state support next year.
The current Governor has not been supportive of higher education during his term in office.
Vice Chancellor Mathieson pointed out that the majority of the costs of a student's
education at Center College is still paid by state tax revenues, but the lack of support
from the governor's office and the state legislature means that students will bear a larger percentage of the total costs through tuition increases.
Tuition increases at unversities in the state in recent years have not been as steep as those at the majority of states and tuition at public institutions in the state is among the lowest in the country, Mathieson said.