The Georgia Board of Regents unanimously approved budget cuts to the state’s largest public college system Tuesday to meet Gov. Brian Kemp’s call for a reduction in spending.
The 4% cut for the current fiscal year budget — nearly $10.4 million — does not include the budget for classroom instruction, University System of Georgia officials say. The cuts, though, will affect farm and marine research, libraries and even the state’s new Cyber Innovation and Training Center in Augusta. Spending for those operations will be cut by 6% for the 12-month fiscal year starting July 1, 2020.
The system’s main budget for the current fiscal year is now $2.58 billion. The cuts come from parts of the budget that is allocated for expenses that does not include classroom teaching.
The cuts were proposed by the campuses, system officials said. Board members did not discuss the cuts before the vote. A spokeswoman for the system declined an interview request with Chancellor Steve Wrigley or board chairman Don Waters.
Kemp recently ordered all state agencies to cut their budgets by 4% this fiscal year and 6% the next fiscal year, in part, to focus on some of his top priorities, such as pay raises for teachers. Kemp promised during his 2018 campaign for governor a leaner state government.
Some state lawmakers told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Monday they are worried about the impact of the University System cuts to rural parts of the state that rely on these services.