Good News for UF Faculty
University of Florida is facing a $33 million cut in their budget next year. That's the word from UF President Bernie Machen, who announced a broad budget outline on Tuesday.
The outline is a glimmer of light for UF faculty, after a storm of cuts pouring down from the state legislature.
"Further cuts in programs, and layoff of faculty and staff are apparently not a part of the package," said John Biro, UF Faculty Union President.
In a memo, Machen announced layoffs and cutting programs weren't a part of his budget plan. However, Machen said the university will try to off-set the 3% contribution state employees now have to make to their pension plans.
"We think of that as a budget cut, and we think we should be doing that for our employees, how and when we do it is something we're working on right now," he said.
Something else he's working on, opening campus to 2,000 new students, who would attend spring and summer semesters only.
"It's really an access issue, and it's a community issue because it will bring more people living in Gainesville, so it will help the local community it will help more Floridians get educated by the university, it wont make money for us, it will just be a wash," he said.
What will make money for the university, Machen said, is the 15 percent increase in tuition.
"Tuition is money, it off sets the negative, unfortunately it only off sets about 40 percent of it, the other 60 percent will still have to be cut" he said.
It's the cuts that Biro adds, hurts the big picture.
"We are continually being asked to do more with less," he said.
The Philosophy department, Biro said, continues to grow, but has gone from a faculty of 17 to a faculty of 11 over the past three years. Biro wonders, with more students coming in, will new teachers be hired?
"That's the question mark, of course they need to be, and everybody understands that, the administration understands that, but of course it's much more difficult to do that when you have your budget cut," he said.
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