UGA ready to implement budget cuts

The University of Georgia intends to move forward with budget cuts that would eliminate about 130 positions, President Michael Adams said Thursday.

Many of the positions are vacant or filled temporarily by rehired retirees, according to plans submitted to the state. The plans also show dozens of jobs currently filled by full-time staff would be eliminated.

College presidents typically contend budget cuts will have minimal impact on students, but Adams didn’t say that.

“Everything you do ultimately impacts students,” Adams said during a briefing with reporters. “To say there is no impact on students, I simply can’t do that.”

For example, UGA plans to eliminate nearly 20 graduate teaching assistantships.

Gov. Nathan Deal told nearly all state agencies to cut their budgets by 3 percent this year and next because of the sluggish economy. While the cuts need to be approved by the Legislature, many agencies are moving ahead with their plans. Adams said UGA will implement its cuts unless told otherwise.

This marked the fifth consecutive year departments were told to come up with additional budget reductions. The state Board of Regents has increased tuition and fees to offset the impact of the cuts on the University System of Georgia, which includes UGA.

UGA has used part of the additional tuition revenue to hire more full-time faculty over the past couple of years. At one point UGA was down 160 tenured or tenure-track faculty, but that figure will be closer to 60 once the college completes a third phase of hiring, Adams said. More than 34,000 students attend UGA.

Over the past decade, enrollment at UGA increased by about 8 percent while full-time professional faculty decreased by 4 percent, according to college figures. The drop in full-time faculty led UGA to increase the number of part-time faculty by more than 40 percent and more than quadruple the number of nontenured lecturers.

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