Proposed UT Budget Reductions Will Hurt (400)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The $16 million appropriations reduction proposed by Gov. Don Sundquist for the University of Tennessee’s operating budget during the next fiscal year came as no surprise, UT President Joe Johnson said Tuesday.

“We were advised several weeks ago to expect a reduction for all of higher education in the range of $40-50 million,” Johnson said. A $40 million higher-education cut, including $16 million for UT, was among the governor’s budget recommendations Monday to the Tennessee General Assembly.

“It was disappointing and it will hurt, but it was not surprising,” Johnson said. “We are asking people to identify their priorities — those things that are most important — and we are working every way we can to protect those.

“Things that have a lower priority, that we can get by without — that includes some administration, some support functions, and some academic program activity — we’ll make some cuts.”

Sundquist recommended about $358 million in operating funds for UT next fiscal year, compared with about $375 million during the current year. In addition, the governor asked for $5 million in maintenance funds for UT, but nothing for capital construction projects at UT.

“We were hoping to have some capital outlay dollars,” Johnson said, “but we had a very, very good capital outlay this year ($31 million). There was some capital maintenance money for next year– about $5 or $6 million — and we were pleased with that.”

UT Office of Business and Finance provided the following figures to show the distribution of the $16 million cut in operating funds:

* UT-Chattanooga, $1.4 million reduction to $32.1 million next fiscal year.

* UT-Knoxville, $6.5 million reduction to $145 million.

* UT Martin, $1.1 million reduction to $24.5 million.

* UT College of Medicine, $1.5 million reduction to $33.3 million.

* UT Family Practice, $195,000 to $4.4 million.

* UT Memphis, $2.1 million reduction to $46.1 million.

* UT Veterinary Medicine, $494,000 reduction to $11.1 million.

* UT Agricultural Experiment, $802,000 reduction to $17.9 million.

* UT Agricultural Extension, $921,000 reduction to $20.6 million.

* UT Space Institute, $285,000 reduction to $6.4 million.

* UT Institute for Public Service, $185,000 reduction to $4.1 million.

* County Technical Assistance Service, $41,000 reduction to $916,000.

* Municipal Technical Advisory Service, $53,000 reduction to $1.2 million.

* University-wide Administration, $95,000 reduction to $2.1 million.

* UT Centers of Excellence, $389,000 reduction to $8.7 million.

Contact: Dr. Joe Johnson (423-974-2441)