Feb. 1-7, 2002
Back Issues
U.Va. board hears grim budget news
Warner’s plan would cut deep
Ayers reaffirms goal of first-rate teaching
New programs send students around the world

Programs combine U.Va. faculty, U.Va. credit, first-hand view of world

Pill-sized camera aids in diagnosis
Hot Links -- Virtual picture postcard
Faculty Senate creates new dissertation-year fellowships
In Memoriam
“Technology and the human person” series will explore though questions
Menaker to receive Zintl award
Notable -- awards and achievements of faculty and staff

Warner’s plan would cut deep
Governor’s proposal quashes pay raises and reduces financial aid to students

By Matt Kelly and Anne Bromley

Salary increases were among the items cut as Gov. Mark Warner proposed his own 2003-04 budget amendments last week.

Warner essentially rewrote former Gov. Jim Gilmore’s 2003-04 spending plan, drafting his version to accommodate projected shortfalls of $5 billion through 2006.

In Warner’s 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.

Warner’s 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.

“We’re worse off under Warner’s budget than under Gilmore’s,” said Colette Sheehy, U.Va.’s vice president for management and budget. “Warner has made deeper cuts across the board.”

Warner’s proposals increase Gilmore’s 2 percent cut in the final stages of the current year’s budget to 3 percent, then establish 7- and 8-percent cuts, respectively, for 2003 and 2004.

Sheehy 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 expenses.

One area that is a wash for the University under Warner’s 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.

Sheehy said under the Gilmore plan, the University could keep $2.5 million, while under Warner’s plan it could keep $2.4 million of the $22.9 million tuition jump.
At Friday’s Board of Visitors’ meeting, board members expressed outrage at the proposal.

“This is essentially a tax. It’s crazy,” exclaimed Terence P. Ross.

“Do students understand what this is all about?” asked Dr. Charles M. Caravati Jr.
Warner also called for reducing financial aid by $1.3 million statewide.

The 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.

Also targeted in Warner’s 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. Warner’s 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.

Warner’s budget ax also fell on a statewide microelectronics initiative, originally created among six state schools, including U.Va., to support Virginia’s electronics industry. Since it has never been funded, Sheehy said this year’s lack of money would not have an impact.

Warner 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.

University 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.

The proposed Warner budget goes now to the legislature, where Sheehy predicted it will face modifications.

“[Warner] seems to feel there is tacit agreement in the legislature, but I don’t think this is going to sail through,” she said.

Sheehy told the board that “the brightest star right now” is the $92.8 million General Assembly’s 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.

Board member William C. Goodwin Jr. wasn’t so sure, however, saying Warner could delay the capital process a year to see if the economy rebounds.

Casteen admitted that Warner has raised questions about carrying the debt involved and the state’s ability to pay for the general obligation bonds.




© Copyright 2002 by the Rector and Visitors
of the University of Virginia

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