February 19, 2001

Contact: Lynn Bretz, University Relations, (785) 864-8866.

Provost tells KU units to prepare for budget cuts

LAWRENCE -- All units on the University of Kansas Lawrence campus are being asked to cut a total of $1.15 million from this year's budgets and to prepare to cut the fiscal year 2002 base budget by $3 million, KU Provost David Shulenburger announced today.

Shulenburger said the current year cuts will be necessary to cover soaring utility bills and the unfunded salary increase for entry-level classified employees that went into effect earlier this month. The university has requested supplemental funding to cover utility costs and is working to restore cuts in the base budget, but Shulenburger said plans must be made to manage the deficit if help is not forthcoming from the Legislature. "I hope next year's cuts will not be necessary, but we have to plan," said Shulenburger.

All units are being asked to freeze hiring and equipment purchases until current year reductions have been identified, and to stop all hiring for next year until plans are made to reduce base budgets in such a way as to do the least damage to the university's teaching, research and service missions.

Shulenburger also expressed concern that the budget recommendations did not continue the Legislature's matching funds for the student technology fee. While not a base budget cut, the loss of these funds will bring to a standstill the substantial progress made during the last three years to bring the most current technology to KU students.

In announcing the cuts, Shulenburger said that KU administrators were grateful for the recommended 6.1 percent increase in faculty salaries, but added that both faculty and staff salaries remain lower than our peers.

"We remain hopeful that the Legislature will approve our requests for supplemental funds. Our hopes, however, must not blind us to the necessity of the budget cutting that will be necessary if funds do not materialize," Shulenburger said.

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