Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida universities ask state for more funding in next budget year

TALLAHASSEE — Even as universities prepared contingency plans to deal with a budget cut of as much as 5 percent, the Florida Board of Governors approved a plan Thursday asking for as much as $118 million in new funding to be divided among its 12 institutions based on performance.

According to the board, the proposed funding would go to state universities based on unspecified measures of their progress. And in a key caveat, members of the board and Chancellor Frank Brogan both made it clear that they took the Legislature at its word that a one-time, $300 million funding reduction meant to cause a drawdown of university reserves wouldn't be repeated in the coming fiscal year.

"Once those reserve dollars are gone, they are gone," Brogan said.

Indeed, the reserves were a key topic of discussion during a board meeting focused on the budget for the current spending year and the next. Officials said they expected funding in university reserves to fall by half — even as some schools were forced to find the cuts elsewhere because their reserves were already close to 5 percent of their budgets, a requirement of state law.

And board members and university presidents looked for ways to make a repeat of the cut less likely, whether by breaking out committed funds that are technically still in universities' reserves or by increasing the level of reserves that the schools are required to set aside.

"In this budget climate of year-after-year cuts, that's a very dangerous number, in my opinion," said Florida State University president Eric Barron.

There appeared to be at least a threat of more cutting. Schools unveiled proposals to slice an additional 5 percent from their budgets, in keeping with instructions from the Legislature. The plans submitted to the board included many of the usual predictions of deep cuts to payrolls and the cancellation of programs.

The University of Central Florida, for example, said it would be forced to drop about four programs, slicing 88 jobs. Florida Atlantic University said it would cut 75 positions in response to a 5 percent cut.

Many of the colleges seemed to hope that the plans for reductions were truly a budget exercise and not reality.

"It will be difficult to shield students, staff and faculty from the negative impact of a 5% reduction due to the compounding effect of previous budget reductions," Florida International University wrote in its filing.

Florida universities ask state for more funding in next budget year 09/13/12 [Last modified: Thursday, September 13, 2012 11:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Police: Uber driver's gun discharges during fight at Adventure Island in Tampa

    Public Safety

    TAMPA — An Uber driver's gun went off Sunday at Adventure Island during a fight between the driver and two passengers.

  2. Baker cautious on Pride politics

    Elections

    Rick and Joyce Baker strode down Central Avenue Sunday amid rainbow flags, corporate booths, and blaring music of the St. Pete Pride Festival.

    St. Petersburg mayoral candidate Rick Baker chats Sunday with people at the St. Pete Pride Festival. As mayor, Baker did not sign a Pride parade proclamation, but now he says he would.
  3. Rays' bullpen stars lit up in loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Saturday it was the soft underbelly of the bullpen that let one get away from the Rays, incurring the wrath of the team's faithful followers, who wondered why the high-leverage guys weren't pitching.

    Rays closer Alex Colome, coming in with the score tied in the ninth, allows three runs in his second straight poor outing.
  4. Lightning among early suitors for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said he planned to explore free agency for potential needs, which include bolstering his blue line and adding a wing or two.

    Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who can be a free agent Saturday, counts the Lightning among his early suitors.
  5. Senate leaders try to appease members as support for health bill slips

    National

    WASHINGTON — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill, even as opposition continued to build outside Congress and two Republican senators questioned whether the bill would be approved this week.

    Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill on Thursday, is one of the five Republican senators who announced they cannot support the health care bill as drafted.