The University of New Mexico Board of Regents got a progress report from UNM administrators Tuesday on how the most recent 3.2445 percent rescission in state funding will be handled by campus units. On main campus, this rescission equals to a $5.694 million cut to the state appropriation for instruction, student and academic support, and the administrative support of academics.
Regents unanimously approved the institution's plan to apply the cut proportionately to the academic and administrative units based upon their original allocation. Fixed costs like utilities, insurance and fringe benefits will not be cut.
When the state first announced the current rescission in early August, President David J. Schmidly met with the deans to determine how it should handled. The consensus reached at that time called for the schools, colleges and administrative units to maintain flexibility and manage the cuts at the unit/department level. Utilizing faculty input, the deans are scheduled to finalize and submit their plans for implementing the 3.2445 percent budget rescission by mid-September.
Regents heard from several graduate students who were concerned about the potential for cuts in the funding for graduate and teaching assistantships. Those types of decisions are being made at the unit/department level and will be scrutinized by the colleges and Provost before the plans are implemented.
Regents also heard how a 3.2445 percent cut will be difficult to handle by academic units that have most of their state funding tied up in salaries. As a short term strategy, Provost Suzanne Ortega has committed to using fund balances to help ease the financial pressure on the units most adversely impacted by the cut in funding.
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