University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols unveiled the proposed budget cuts for Fiscal Year 2018 at a town hall meeting Wednesday. The cuts total about $10 million, with nearly $6 million of that coming from division cuts, and the rest through retirement incentives, eliminating vacancies on campus, and increased efficiency. The cuts do not include layoffs.
President Nichols said there was talk of cutting up to $15 million, but the consensus was to go a more conservative route and adjust later if the state decides to cut the university budget further.
“Let’s make sure we’re meeting our $41 million budget reduction, let’s take care of some of our structural deficits in the university budget, and then let’s move on,” said Nichols.
The university has also proposed cutting 16 academic programs. A final decision on those programs is expected in February.
In addition to cuts, the university will look at increasing revenue through higher program fees for students. UW Economist Rob Godby helped consult on the proposed fee increases, and said they are trying to be open with students about tough decisions the university faces.
“We’re trying at all costs to avoid the quality of education declining at the University of Wyoming, and unfortunately with that change in state support that means that the burden is shifting. And some of that will shift to students,” said Godby.
If implemented, the fee increases would make certain degrees like engineering and nursing more expensive, but would also generate $5 million of revenue.
Public comments on the plan can be emailed to email@example.com.