Based on projections that show a continuing shortfall in state revenues, Colorado State University officials announced they will plan for an additional budget cut of 4 percent to 6 percent over previous budget reductions for the next fiscal year.
The latest cuts will bring the total budget cut at the institution to more than $14 million. Through its budget and planning process, Colorado State last year already had identified $5.6 million in budget reductions prior to the latest downward revenue projections. The university, through the budget process, will use $2.5 million in reserve funds set aside by the institution for such a budget-crisis need, along with $2.5 million in cuts in administrative areas as well as cuts from spending and travel restrictions, to meet the state funding reduction.
The plans for the additional 4 percent to 6 percent in cuts call for the freezing of selected vacant, tenure-track faculty positions, but not for layoffs of current faculty. The plans would freeze approximately 50 vacant faculty positions to meet the budget reduction.
The plans also would eliminate approximately 75 staff/administrative positions – 45 vacant positions as well as approximately 30 positions that are currently filled. These 30 positions include nine employees notified last month that their positions had been eliminated for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins July 1.
While the cuts do not have to take effect until next fiscal year, university officials are working to notify all affected staff this fiscal year to allow as much time as possible for them to find other
positions at the university where possible. The university’s Human Resource Services unit will work to try to find other positions on campus for all employees whose positions are eliminated in the budget reductions.
In all, the staff, administrative and faculty position reductions will generate approximately $5.4 million to meet the budget reductions from the state. University officials will finalize all budget reductions through the ongoing budget process, and the total number of employees in current jobs that face layoffs could be reduced by retirements, job changes and other factors. Colorado State has approximately 1,700 faculty and approximately 3,300 staff/administrators.
"We have been very fiscally conservative as an institution historically and in dealing with the ongoing budget crisis, and have been able to mitigate, as much as possible, the impact of the cuts on quality of our academic programs and on the classroom," said President Albert C. Yates. "The economic conditions will make it impossible for the university to make the budget cuts required without eliminating positions. While we continue to do everything we can to mitigate the impact of the budget cuts on our staff, we simply cannot meet the state budget cuts without eliminating positions."
To date, Colorado State had been able to avoid large-scale layoffs through a budget planning process that has stressed the generation of permanent reserve funds and flexibility in resource allocations.
All job eliminations will be based on university strategic priorities, on maintaining academic quality and on seniority of staff in those areas slated for cuts subject to state personnel system regulations. All staff position eliminations must be cleared through the Human Resource Services unit and comply with state regulations for position eliminations.
The freeze in faculty positions will have an impact on class size at the university, but university officials are developing plans to minimize the impact of the cuts on class availability, particularly in core curriculum courses.
The staff reductions will also place additional burden on an already lean administration. Colorado State currently lags well behind its peer institutions in terms of administrative support. The percentage of expenditures on administrative functions at Colorado State is now one of the lowest in the country for a major research university – 50 percent of the national average for comparable institutions, according to comparative federal data from higher education institutions.