Due to declining revenues and cuts mandated by legislature, the University of Wyoming is preparing for a minimum of $7 million dollars in budget cuts with the expectation that they could be greater than that.
During the UW Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, Vice President for Administration Bill Mai said the state revenue picture continues to decline. And he reported that while the University’s deans and others have been told to prepare for $7 million dollars in cuts, they should probably identify closer to $14 million.
“I think you are looking at probably closer to double that amount being necessary on an annual basis from a structural standpoint, and that’s a lot of money.”
Mai said some cuts will include phasing out degree programs, but because of tenured faculty and students still in the programs, those reductions will take time.
Incoming President Laurie Nichols told the board that in her current post at South Dakota State they saved a lot of money by correcting some inefficiency’s. The Trustees heard on report on how to evaluate the significance of a program. Nichols said the key is to not hurt the University.
“Taking a budget cut of this level is really difficult and it’s hard on the campus when you are doing it. But I will tell you that a campus can get through it and if you do it well that you really can come out on the other end where you really can have a leaner University, but you still can have quality.”
Nichols said that despite budget cuts; she is committed to finding ways internally to increase employee pay. That will mean UW will need to look at increasing tuition and fees and see if private money can be used to help address the budget shortfall.
A trustee committee will begin look at options in April.