LCSN: NMSU president OKs leaner budget

June 23, 2010. Retrieved online June 23, 2010 from Amanda L. Bradford, Las Cruces Sun-News

LAS CRUCES – New Mexico State University President Barbara Couture approved an administrative budget reduction plan Tuesday that trims roughly $5.2 million for the coming fiscal year, resulting in the elimination of 68 positions university-wide.

A proposal submitted by the university’s budget advisory panel had called for a total reduction that was $156,000 deeper, and cut 69 positions. But following an internal hearing June 15, officials opted to restore one position under the Vice President of Student Success and make a change in operating funds for the provost’s office, which was affected by a proposed reorganization, according to a memo from Couture to the university’s faculty and staff Tuesday.

About 40 percent of the affected positions are currently vacant, and another 40 percent will be reorganized under another division with a different source of revenue, according to the university. The remaining 20 percent are currently filled, but officials said they’re planning to transfer the employees to fill vacant positions that aren’t being eliminated.

No pay cuts or layoffs are planned.

Cuts to the instructional portion of the budget, comprised mainly of faculty, are being postponed until the fall, when NMSU officials said they’d have a better idea about the school’s financial picture.

Jennifer Taylor, NMSU vice president for Business, Finance and Human Resources, said the budget trims more than the $2.1 million that had been called for. The goal is to help reduce cuts to faculty – expected to come up with $2.8 million of the $5 million shortfall – later on.

The total instruction and general budget for the Las Cruces campus was cut by $12.3 million for the next fiscal year, which starts July 1. A combination of increased tuition and decreased central expenses addressed $7.4 million of that decrease, leaving $4.9 million to be covered through reductions to unit budgets, according to Couture’s memo.

Read the Las Cruces Sun-News article.

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