Last week, UT Knoxville was asked to find ways to trim another $6 million from its budget.
The need for cuts came as the state finance commissioner announced higher education funding would be further reduced by $43.7 million statewide. About $17 million of that must come from the University of Tennessee system.
It was tough news for the university. Already this year, the system has had to cut $21.1 million, of which $11.1 million has come from the UT Knoxville budget.
"These are not good times for our university, but we are not the only ones feeling pain," Interim Chancellor Jan Simek said. "The tough economic times are touching people in all walks of life, whether you work for the university, the government or the private sector."
"Unfortunately," he said, "faculty, staff and students will feel the impact in several ways."
Simek said UT Knoxville administration anticipated more budget-tightening, so vice chancellors, deans, directors and department heads had been working to identify potential cuts.
They’ve identified $4.2 million of possible cuts; the remaining $1.8 million will come from the campus administration.
Some of the cuts that will be made include:
- Reduction or elimination of travel and field opportunities for students
- Reduction in the ability to modernize teaching and classroom technology
- Cancellation of courses, particularly at the upper division level, which will affect students’ access to courses and their ability to graduate
- Reduction in faculty research support and additional reductions in the number of faculty lines, which will require the hiring of lecturers to replace tenure-track faculty positions
- Reduction in funding for admissions, which will impact processing of student applications
- Reduction of maintenance funding
To help save money, employees are urged to use all campus resources efficiently, including lights, computers, air conditioning or heating units and all other devices. For tips, see the Make Orange Green Web site, http://environment.utk.edu/.
Simek warned that additional budget cuts may be seen in next year’s budget.
"It is more important than ever that we all work together, think strategically and do all that we can to preserve the mission of the University of Tennessee," he said. "I encourage each of you to look for ways to improve efficiency in your individual units and pass those ideas along."
You can submit your cost-saving ideas to email@example.com.