UF appears to be one of the only universities that is not using reserves to cover this year’s budget cuts. In total, legislators withheld $300 million from state universities this year in a one-time cut based on the money they had in reserves. UF administrators have maintained that this loss will be recurring. However, a recent article shows that schools like FSU are using reserves to cover these one-time cuts, as the Board of Governors and Florida lawmakers have suggested. As JD Alexander, Senate Budget Chairman, explains, “…what we did is said, ‘Give us $300 million back out of the $859 million in cash you were sitting on.”
A financial administrator at Florida State University explained that their long-term financial plan “involved building up our reserves, which we are now using to cover this one-year cut to our recurring state support.” Both New College and UCF are also planning to use some of their reserves to cover these temporary budget cuts.
New College and UNF both mentioned using attrition to cover some of the budget cuts. Accordingly, UF appears to be the only university to be hiring as usual, with over 100 job postings while other universities have posted 2 (FIU), 1 (FSU, USF, UCF, FAU, UNF, Florida A & M, and FGCU), or 0 (UWF) new positions (http://spendthereservessaveuf.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/uf-advertises-in-the-chonicle-of-higher-education/)
Meanwhile, UF remains obstinate in its refusal to use reserves.
We want to know why President Machen and Provost Glover are claiming they have no choice in forcing the state’s $38 million cuts onto the backs of students, faculty, staff and graduate assistants. It appears that other universities have been innovative in finding solutions to this one-time budget reduction. If UF claims to be a leader in higher education, why are they lagging behind?