plan would cut deep
Governors proposal quashes pay raises
and reduces financial aid to students
By Matt Kelly and Anne Bromley
increases were among the items cut as Gov. Mark Warner proposed
his own 2003-04 budget amendments last week.
essentially rewrote former Gov. Jim Gilmores 2003-04 spending
plan, drafting his version to accommodate projected shortfalls
of $5 billion through 2006.
Warners budget proposal, a 2 percent faculty and staff pay
increase has been eliminated from the fiscal 2003 budget. Raises
for the current fiscal year have already been quashed and there
is no decision yet on raises for 2004.
spending plan seeks to soften the blow for state employees with
reduced hikes in health care premiums. This, however, has no impact
on University employees, who are part of a self-insurance pool.
worse off under Warners budget than under Gilmores,
said Colette Sheehy, U.Va.s vice
president for management and budget. Warner has made
deeper cuts across the board.
proposals increase Gilmores 2 percent cut in the final stages
of the current years budget to 3 percent, then establish
7- and 8-percent cuts, respectively, for 2003 and 2004.
said reductions in the state budget will likely cause the University
to cut services, freeze faculty searches and hold classified staff
positions vacant, as well as carefully review travel and equipment
area that is a wash for the University under Warners plan
is tuition reversion. Gilmore had proposed tuition increases for
in-state undergraduates of $100 to $200, with $100 of that going
to the state. Since this would create a hardship for smaller schools,
in some places hiking tuition 18 percent, Warner set the tuition
increase at 5 percent, with the bulk of the money still being
forwarded to the state.
said under the Gilmore plan, the University could keep $2.5 million,
while under Warners plan it could keep $2.4 million of the
$22.9 million tuition jump.
At Fridays Board
of Visitors meeting, board members expressed outrage
at the proposal.
is essentially a tax. Its crazy, exclaimed Terence
students understand what this is all about? asked Dr. Charles
M. Caravati Jr.
Warner also called for reducing financial aid by $1.3 million
cuts Warner is proposing would amount to a reduction of almost
$1,700 in spending per in-state student compared to a decade ago,
if adjusted to 1990-91 dollars, Sheehy said.
targeted in Warners spending blueprint is a $1.3 million
reduction in aid to public service, research centers and special
projects. At U.Va., this would mean $566,000 would be cut from
state support of a variety of centers, such as the Diabetes Research
Center, the Virginia Foundation
for the Humanities, the state arboretum and the state climatology
office. Warners stated hope is that cuts would be replaced
with private funds, but Sheehy said she did not think all the
centers would have private money available.
budget ax also fell on a statewide microelectronics initiative,
originally created among six state schools, including U.Va., to
support Virginias electronics industry. Since it has never
been funded, Sheehy said this years lack of money would
not have an impact.
did restore funding for the Virtual Library, a consortium of higher-education
libraries that share digital resources, saving individual libraries
money and giving smaller libraries greater access to materials.
Gilmore had cut funding, but Warner restored $400,000, bringing
the library group to the same funding as the current year.
Librarian Karin Wittenborg said that some things may still need
to be cut, since inflation in library materials costs are running
about 6 percent annually.
Warner has also set aside $100 million in each budget year as
a hedge against declining revenues.
proposed Warner budget goes now to the legislature, where Sheehy
predicted it will face modifications.
seems to feel there is tacit agreement in the legislature, but
I dont think this is going to sail through, she said.
told the board that the brightest star right now is
the $92.8 million General Assemblys capital plan, approved
Tuesday by the Senate Finance Committee. If that plan gets approved,
the University could gain $92.8 million for high-priority building
and renovation projects, including the South Lawn Project.
member William C. Goodwin Jr. wasnt so sure, however, saying
Warner could delay the capital process a year to see if the economy
admitted that Warner has raised questions about carrying the debt
involved and the states ability to pay for the general obligation