UT Board of Trustees Approves Budget, Tuition Increases

The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees last week approved a $1.8 billion budget for fiscal year 2010 that includes one-time federal stimulus funding and increases tuition at every campus.

Trustees at the board’s annual meeting in Knoxville also approved Acting UT President Jan Simek’s plans for an initial phase of reorganization of the UT System administrative structure.

The university has been preparing for a $65.6 million cut in state appropriations, and that cut is reflected in the FY 2010 budget, which goes into effect July 1.

However, the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provides funding for states to allocate to education. UT is slated to receive $92 million in total federal stimulus and state stabilization funds for FY 2010. Total state appropriations are projected to be $514 million, slightly more than a year ago. Similar funding is planned for next year, but it will not be available for FY 2012.

Uses for the one-time stimulus funds include retaining lecturers and adjunct faculty, upgrading technology in classrooms, maintaining facilities and undertaking energy efficiency projects.

About 500 jobs have been targeted to be eliminated systemwide in the next two years. About 300 of those jobs are currently filled. Those positions will be shifted to stimulus funding in order to keep those affected employees at the university for up to two years before their positions are eliminated. Targeted positions at the system level will be moved to other non-state funding sources.

During the next two years, the university will provide assistance to find other employment inside and outside UT.

UT Knoxville will receive the largest portion of the stimulus funding at $48.3 million.

The board also approved recommendations to increase tuition. The university is projected to receive $392 million in revenue from tuition and fees, an increase of about $30 million from last year.

Tuition will increase at UT Knoxville by 9 percent, or $490 for in-state undergraduate and $564 graduate students.

UT’s FY 2010 budget was developed based on the amount of state appropriations allotted in Gov. Phil Bredesen’s budget proposal for the state of Tennessee. If the final version of the budget passed by the Legislature alters the state appropriations for the university, the board has authorized the University to modify its budget within available resources.

Simek unveiled an initial phase of his reorganization plan on June 1 at the meeting of the Committee on Effectiveness and Efficiency for the Future.

The reorganization is intended to help clarify the role of the system and its appropriate functions. The changes are effective July 1.

Simek advocated having a “collective conversation” about the functions performed by the system and its relationship to the campuses. The board will further discuss the system administration and functions at a workshop in August.

“How much is in the system is for all of us to decide,” Simek told the board.

The functions of two vice presidents’ offices will be eliminated, redistributed within the system administration or delegated to the campuses.

In addition, the title of vice president will be dropped from five positions:

* Chief Human Resources Officer
* General Counsel and Secretary
* Treasurer
* Chief Information Officer (The current officer was hired without the vice president title.)
* UT Health Science Center Chancellor (Title had included Vice President for Health Affairs)

Ongoing evaluations will study the functions of the Institute for Public Service and the Office of Equity and Diversity, and the role of the system in overseeing athletics at UT Knoxville.

In other business, the board approved:

* Recommendations for program consolidation and discontinuance. UT Knoxville proposed discontinuing the dance education minor, master’s in planning and master’s in safety education.
* Pilot program for a new rating scale for faculty annual performance reviews at UT Knoxville, the Institute of Agriculture and the Space Institute.
* Tenure recommendations.
To view an archived Webcast of the meeting, visit http://bot.tennessee.edu/webcasts.html.