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Legislature slashes budget by $38 million

Published: Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Updated: Wednesday, May 27, 2009 18:05

As the 2009-10 fiscal year approaches, the Florida Legislature announced that UCF's budget will be cut by 15.5 percent instead of the 25 percent that was originally proposed.

This decision will result in a $38 million reduction in the university's funds.

According to the UCF Budget Resources Center Web site, UCF has seen budget cuts totaling more than $77 million dollars over the past two years, or 26 percent, including the recent budget cut for this fiscal year.

But UCF is already formulating a game plan for this new cut, and officials are analyzing what cost-saving methods the university can take.

Grant Heston of UCF News & Information said the university will have to look beyond its current efforts.

 "I think to this point, we've performed a lot of belt tightening in terms of budget cuts, leaving more than 200 faculty and staff positions vacant and saving money on energy costs and other expenses," Heston said. "We will have to look beyond these measures."

Although there has been a 15 percent tuition increase this year, it will not make up for the losses UCF has seen in their budget.

 "We expect about $11 million in new tuition," Heston said. "That's significant but represents only a portion of the $38 million we're losing."

According to the budget Web site, UCF has a process that will help protect those programs that will bring both students and the university success.

However, other programs may be affected by the budget cut, but those decisions have not yet been made.

"We are still evaluating our options and will communicate in the future about what the cuts mean for the university," Heston said.

As UCF prepares to make decisions about the future of different programs and colleges within the university, they face many challenges.

However, Heston said that we have succeeded in conservative financial planning.

He said the faculty and staff have done a great job preserving the student experience at UCF, which will drive everything the university does in the future.

 

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