The university is taking the full brunt of the budget cuts, sparing the students with minimal discomfort.
The Utah State Legislature called into a special session last September enacted a immediate four percent budget cut to all Utah System of Higher Education colleges. Utah Valley University has cut $2,737,700 from its tax-funded revenue this school year in order to implement this change. Linda Makin, Executive Director of Planning and Budget for UVU, said, “We expected a cut coming, but not this soon.”
In the new plan, UVU made cuts that would not hurt the university’s mission and therefore would have minimal impact on the students. There will be no increase of student tuition or fees with these cuts. The budget cuts will not affect the remodeling of the Student Success Center, which will be located in the old library. The only thing students will notice is less staff at One Stop and less maintenance staff. “With less staff they will have to work harder and services will be delayed,” said Makin.
All the departments have been affected by the budget cuts since there is a reduction in all of their departmental budgets. Makin said that it helped the school a lot that the legislature gave so much discretion or freedom to Interim President Elizabeth Hitch regarding how the budget should be cut. Hitch in turn gave that same freedom to the vice presidents and deans so they could figure out where to make cuts in their departments.
The changes that will be made by the reduction this school year continue with UVU using all the positive balance from last year; in other words, they are using the savings they have in the bank. They will also use all the unused money from remodeling of the new Student Success Center.
They are eliminating eight salaried positions, which consist of five staff, two faculty and one executive. Only one of these positions is filled at this time — that staff member will be invited to leave — the rest will be closed. There will be a reduction in the hourly staff in the Facilities Department and the services they offer.
These budget cuts do not only affect this year’s budget but also the following school year’s.
Next school year there will be another fifteen positions eliminated (five staff and ten faculty positions). Five or six of those positions are filled now.
Two academic programs, Apprenticeship and Lineman Technology, will be transferred out of UVU to either Salt Lake Community College or Mountainland Applied Technology College.
Other reductions for next year include fewer hourly faculty, staff, services, and also of department budgets with reductions in fuel and power.
There are two reductions that will happen this year and the next with the use of more lecture faculty instead of hiring tenure track faculty and also by rearranging six positions so that they get paid from other budgets that are making money for the university.
Even before these budget cuts, UVU receives the fewest tax-fund dollars per student. With $68 million from the state before the cuts, it only makes up 54 percent of our operating budget.