July 19, 2009

How Will Colleges Adjust to University’s 5-Percent Budget Cut?

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Hum Ec Prepares Budget
The College of Human Ecology has a strengthened ability to cope with this decrease in funding because of the cuts it had already made in programming and in terms of its budget to finance the construction. After losing space due to structural deficiencies in the north wing, the college began construction of a new building connected to MVR. In order to cope with the losses of space in 2001 and funds in 2008, the college was forced to cut back on its programming and search for other areas to minimize expenses.

AAP Cuts Force Program Reevaluation
Art Architecture and Planning’s budgetary situation is “somewhat different,” according to Dean Kleinnman, because of the fact that the college has already faced a structural deficit since the beginning of the year.
Many faculty and students panicked with the closing of the Knight Visual Resources Facility in March. As one of the University’s oldest and largest collections of images and visual materials, it was among the most important resources the school provided, according to AAP students.

CALS Will Cut $4M More
To Reach 5 Percent Goal
The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences announced a $2.8 million cut in state funding for the fall. In the face of reduced state funding and the 5 percent budget cut, the college will have to cut an additional $4 million, amounting to a significant decrease in funding.
What makes the task of budgeting harder for CALS is the fact that only 30 percent of its budget is able to be cut, as 35 percent is professional salaries and 35 percent is for “centrally provided services” such as financial aid.

Engineering Prioritizes Instruction and Research In Face of Budget Cuts
In the wake of the budget cuts, the College of Engineering was left with a significant problem. Concerned with the security of its teaching and research facilities, Interim Dean Christopher Ober focused reductions on the non-academic departments of the College. Explaining the difficulty in this, Ober said, “Engineering has one of the smallest staff-to-faculty ratios of any college in the University; in other words, our staffing is already lean. So finding areas to cut back is difficult and painful.” The College also drew controversy for its decision to combine two of its departments last semester.

Arts College Divides $6M Cut Differently Across Depts.
As the University’s largest college, the College of Arts and Sciences was forced to reduce the number of offered classes as well as some administrative functions. With many concerned with how the cuts would impact students, Dean G. Peter Lepage emphasized that every effort would be made so that the cuts would seem “invisible” to students. To the faculty, however, they were readily apparent. “More than half of our budget is salaries, so we need to trim the size of academic and non-academic staff,” Lepage said.
Many language courses in Arts and Sciences have felt the budget cuts. Dutch and Swedish, which were both part of the German Studies Department, will no longer be offered next year.
According to Prof. Kaushik Basu, economics, the department had expansive plans for growth in faculty. In ligh of budget constraints, however, these plans will have to be placed on hold.

Hotel School Strives to Meet Budget Reduction
Though maintaining relative financial independence, the Hotel School still feels the effects of University cuts.
The School of Hotel Adminis­tra­tion was in a different position than the rest of the University’s colleges. As a “tub college,” the school is largely responsible for its own finances and generates its own revenue through the Statler Hotel. While this grants the school a larger degree of independence than the other colleges, it did not exempt the school from the impacts of the budget cuts. The University’s decision to eliminate need-based student loans for family incomes below $75,000 directly impacted the School, increasing its burden to shoulder in financial aid. According to Michael Johnson, dean of the Hotel School, the lastest changes to the financial aid policy will increase their financial aid budget by $1.5 million.

ILR Prepares Early for Budget
With the need to cut $1.7 million from ILR’s $34-million unrestricted budget, Dean Harry Katz has pledged that the cuts would not directly affect students, classes, professors or other faculty members on campus. As a state-subsidized school, ILR was notified earlier that it would need to reduce its budget by $500,000 as part of the mid-year budget cut that was imposed on Cornell’s four statutory colleges. This gave the school a head start over other colleges that did not learn that cuts would be needed until February, according to Katz. ILR will make most of its reductions in its extension division, which is responsible for conducting workshops, seminars and courses for alumni and professionals interested in the school’s fields.