CU-Boulder Announces Details On Budgetary Cutbacks

first_imgDetailed information on budget reductions totaling about $11 million at the University of Colorado at Boulder was announced Tuesday, Dec. 10, by Chancellor Richard L. Byyny at a campus-wide open forum. In his remarks at the forum in the Glenn Miller Ballroom, Byyny said the campus will eliminate 33.5 vacant faculty positions, 26.25 vacant staff positions and 21.55 filled staff positions resulting in layoffs. Also, he said, selected operating budgets will be cut by nearly $2.1 million. “As a campus, we have struggled to find the most humane – and least damaging – ways to respond to budget cutbacks brought on by reduced state government revenues,” Byyny said. He noted that many of CU-Boulder’s peer institutions also are facing shortfalls and massive layoffs are common in the private sector. “But I find little solace in knowing we are not alone. I deeply regret the impact these budget reductions will have on people – people who make valuable contributions everyday to the success of this great university.” In mid-October, the Boulder campus administration predicted that CU-Boulder would be required to cut the budget by about $11 million. Byyny noted that those predictions were confirmed by recent statements by state officials. The campus administration will address about $5 million of the reduction through strong enrollment income, improved debt and accounts management, an increase in the overhead charge to auxiliary units and other actions. The remaining $6 million in mandated cuts for CU-Boulder must be covered by reductions in general-funded departmental budgets, Byyny said. In addition, some departments in the Administration Division will be affected by reallocations of about $533,000, which will be redirected within the division for other needs of the campus. Administrators decided to identify reductions that are focused rather than broad “in areas that are less harmful to the quality of our education,” Byyny said, and avoid across-the-board cuts that might harm overall quality. To preserve as much funding as possible for academic programs, the budgets for student affairs, administrative and financial units were cut by a larger percentage than academic units. The process included regular consultation with members of the campus community, including the Council of Deans, Council of Chairs, Boulder Faculty Assembly committees and leadership, Staff Council, Academic Affairs Budget Advisory Committee, Campus Executive Committee, student government and others. Byyny said he asked the vice chancellors to work with their units to propose reductions according to a set of established criteria. They were asked to consider the effects on the campus’ long-term quality, financial viability and necessity to basic campus operation. He also asked them to consider using vacant positions and retirements to minimize impacts. “Nevertheless, I regret to say that some layoffs are unavoidable,” Byyny said. “And we will be forced to discontinue or reduce some academic programs.” Among the 33.5 vacant faculty positions being eliminated are positions in arts and sciences, music, law, business, engineering, journalism, education and the libraries. Cuts of 26.25 vacant staff positions will occur in: the law school; Information Technology Services; business school; the libraries; Student Affairs; Business Services; Planning, Budget and Analysis; Bursar’s Office; Chancellor’s Office; Facilities Management; Human Resources and University Communications. Staff layoffs will include 21.55 full-time-equivalent positions in arts and sciences, Information Technology, engineering, Student Affairs, Graduate School, Facilities Management, Business Services and Human Resources. Cuts of nearly $2.1 million in selected departmental operating budgets will include reductions in general operating expenses, travel, official functions, faculty development, low-enrollment elective courses, the Faculty Computer program, campus marketing programs and publications, student recruitment materials and others. Included in the campus cutbacks are elimination of the Integrated Marketing track in journalism and the tourism program in business. Courses associated with those programs will be handled through other academic programs, as appropriate. Also, the cuts include elimination of, or reductions in, about 20 small centers from the campus’s more than 100 academic centers. Byyny said that most of the laid-off staff members have already been notified; the remainder will be notified by Dec. 13. Sixty-day notices will be provided, rather than the required 45-day notice, to allow more transition time, he said. Byyny outlined steps taken to “reduce human impacts as well as negative effects on the quality of our core mission as a public research university.” He announced formation of a new Separation Incentive Pilot Program, designed to lessen some of the impacts on staff and the organization. This voluntary program provides financial incentives to classified employees facing layoffs, who may choose to waive their retention rights as part of the layoff process. Byyny said the program will help those directly affected by layoffs and will reduce the disruption caused by a prolonged “bumping” process. In addition, the Human Resources Department will provide information about retention rights for classified staff, insurance continuation, transition support, career decision-making, handling stress and other support services, he said. Byyny said he remains optimistic about the campus’ future, citing its stature among public research universities, the achievements and dedication of the campus community, and a long tradition of eventually emerging stronger and better from difficult times. He said he will continue to promote the “Quality for Colorado” proposal, “not as a solution to the current budget cutbacks, but as a means for making strategic investments in a great university.” Published: Dec. 9, 2002 Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-maillast_img read more