Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Fewer students will learn less at UF after cuts

TALLAHASSEE — Faced with a nearly $50-million loss in state dollars for the looming budget year, the University of Florida will lay off 138 faculty and staff members; cut undergraduate enrollment by 4,000 students; slash research spending; and eliminate some degree programs and academic departments.

For students, the changes will mean fewer multicultural programs, internships and opportunities to study abroad.

Maintenance and housekeeping hours in the dorms will shrink. Students will likely find longer waits for financial aid and career counseling.

And the enrollment reduction will make it harder than ever to get into what some people already call the "Harvard of Florida."

UF president Bernie Machen announced the dramatic cutbacks Monday, just a few days after lawmakers ended their annual session by passing an anemic $66.2-billion state budget.

That's nearly $6-billion less than last session, before the state's economy went into a sort of free fall.

The economic problems forced lawmakers to cut UF's current budget by $22-million. Another $47-million in cuts take effect at the research institution in the budget year that begins July 1.

"Our priority is to protect the quality of education at the University of Florida," Machen said. "But clearly, we cannot take reductions this large without making difficult choices."

Administrators, as in other public universities across Florida, already have frozen freshman enrollment and left faculty and staff positions vacant.

But the decisions announced Monday are among the toughest made so far, Machen said.

"We're running out of options, with the money we've lost," he said.

The cuts will:

• Eliminate about 430 faculty and staff positions (some 290 are now vacant). It means laying off 118 staffers and 20 nontenured faculty members, including 16 faculty members in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

• Cut undergraduate enrollment by 4,000 slots over four years, including 1,000 transfer seats already cut.

• Reduce or eliminate some degrees and courses, including Ph.D. programs in philosophy and German, a bachelor's degree in physical education and a master's degree education program in foreign language. The law school will take fewer students due to a $1.2-million loss. Students now enrolled in degree programs slated for elimination can complete their degrees.

• Reduce and reorganize departments within the colleges of education, liberal arts and sciences, design, construction and planning, and in the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

• Decrease research funding in the Water Institute, McKnight Brain Institute and the Center for Latin American Studies, among others.

Machen said his greatest concern moving forward is faculty flight. "We're in the second year with no raises (from the state)," he said.

Monday's announcement from Machen won't be the last among higher education leaders in this state.

The University of South Florida's Tampa campus will have to serve its 40,000 students with about $34-million less in state money.

Already, USF has frozen $13-million in jobs — about 100 faculty positions and 50 staff positions. Provost Ralph Wilcox warns that classes will be larger and that student services might be cut.

Shannon Colavecchio-Van Sickler can be reached at svansickler@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3403.

Fewer students will learn less at UF after cuts 05/05/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, May 7, 2008 6:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Forecast: First day of fall brings more showers, humidity to Tampa Bay

    Weather

    More moisture will filter into the Tampa Bay area on Friday, the official start of fall, allowing for higher rain chances through the day and beginning half of the weekend.

    Tampa Bay's 7 day forecast. [WTSP]
  2. Polk childcare workers who berated autistic child turn themselves in (w/video)

    Crime

    WINTER HAVEN — Two childcare workers are facing child abuse charges after a Snapchat video surfaced of them berating, taunting and throwing a backpack at an 8-year-old autistic child.

    Police are searching for two childcare workers - Kaderrica Smith, 26, and Alexis Henderson, 20 - after a Snapchat video surfaced of them berating, taunting and throwing a backpack at an 8-year-old Autistic child in Winter Haven. [Winter Haven Police Department]
  3. Trigaux: Tampa Bay household income tops $50,000 but still makes us look poor

    Personal Finance

    The good news is Tampa Bay's median household income finally crawled above $50,000 last year. The bad news is that figure — officially $51,115 by new U.S. Census Bureau data — still puts the Tampa Bay region as the poorest of the nation's 25 largest metro areas.

    Tampa Bay still has the lowest median household income among the 25 most populous metro areas, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.
[Times]
  4. Oh, Florida! Irma's gone, but she left behind plenty of lessons for us

    Columns

    I don't want to make light of the misery and death that Hurricane Irma inflicted on Florida this month. A lot of it was ugly, and some of it was downright criminal. We saw greed and pettiness on …

    A Fort Myers woman who'd recently undergone a double-organ transplant painted a sign that said, "HOT SINGLE FEMALE SEEKS SEXY LINEMAN TO ELECTRIFY HER LIFE" and sure enough, she got her power turned back on. [Photo from video]
  5. Florida education news: Makeup days, accountability, charter schools and more

    Blogs

    MAKEUP DAYS: The Pasco County school district alters the daily schedule of 11 schools to make up teaching time missed because of Hurricane Irma, avoiding the …

    With students back in school after Hurricane Irma, schools across Florida begin scheduling makeup days for missed classroom time.