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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Budget woes could shrink SUS by 17K seats



These numbers are still soft because the state's budget situation remains  uncertain in terms of just how bad it will get, but university system Chancellor Mark Rosenberg is warning college presidents that they might need to cut enrollment by as many as 17,000 students to match their dwindling financial resources.

The cuts could come over time, rather than all at once.

Still, that's a lot of rejection letters for high school seniors. And that's a lot of angry parents who vote...

The state already cut $157-million from Florida's 11-university system and will cut as much as $171-million more this budget year, thanks to state revenue shortfalls.

"The enrollment levels in the original 2007-08 General Appropriations Act were based on a level of state funding that has not materialized," Rosenberg recently wrote in a memo to presidents. "If we cannot afford to hire faculty and advisors, we do not have the capacity to enroll students."

To maintain current student/faculty ratios (which are already among the worst in the country), the budget cuts so far would force the 11 universities to shrink from 298,000 students today to 276,000.  Gov. Charlie Crist's proposed enrollment growth money -- about $50-million -- would restore 5,000 seats, for a total of 281,000.

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 15, 2010 1:10pm]


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