Georgia Colleges May Have to Face Major Cuts to Balance State Budget
The educational system for the state of Georgia might be running into a roadblock if there is any chance in balancing out its budget.
In trying to cut close to $600 million from its budget, colleges and universities within the state would be forced to lay off thousands of employees, severely limit freshman classes and eradicate popular programs outside of the campus boundaries.
Such a drastic move is in preparation for a hearing taking place Wednesday as the General Assembly is making efforts to find a means to fill a potential $1.1 billion budget deficit for the fiscal year that would start on July 1, according to sources at the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Stemming from a report that was put together by the University System of Georgia, there would be close to 2,500 faculty and staff jobs that would be cut at Georgia State University, Georgia Tech and the University of Georgia.
"We strongly believe that cuts of this nature, if implemented, would severely compromise our ability to provide the educated populace that is necessary for the continued success of this state," Chancellor Erroll Davis said in a letter Monday to key lawmakers. "Such a reduction would dramatically and negatively alter a university system in which the people of this state have invested so much; a reduction of this size is not in the best interest of Georgia and its future economic development."
As revenue continues to shrink, however, drastic times are apparently calling for desperate measures as Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers stated that the cuts are imminent and cannot be avoided.
Cuts, unfortunately, will mean that tuition will see an increase as funds are trying to be built up for these institutions of higher learning. Davis stated that a 77% increase in tuition would only be able to raise more than half of the cuts.
The University System contains more than 300,000 students and more than half are within a program that would not have them fearing an increase in rates as their tuition is locked in for four years.
The other half, however, may be forced to pay an extra $1,000 a year which could bring in $150 million.
Here is a list of colleges and universities and how they will deal with the budget cuts:
University of Georgia
Cut: $58.9 million
Positions eliminated: 1,418
Other: Reduce incoming freshman body by about a third; eliminate 4-H; reduce support for Veterinarian Medical Teaching Hospital by 66 percent
Georgia Institute of Technology
Cut: $38.07 million
Positions eliminated: 452
Other: Decrease admissions by 20 percent; eliminate 150-200 research positions; increase student-faculty ratio to 24-1
Georgia State University
Cut: $34.12 million
Positions eliminated: 622
Other: Reduce freshmen and transfers by 1,000; close Brookhaven campus; eliminate 396 course sections; close Fiscal Research Center and Capitol Hill Child Enrichment Center; eliminate Georgia Health Policy Center
Medical College of Georgia
Cut: $25.57 million
Positions eliminated: 63
Other: Accept 155 fewer students
Kennesaw State University
Cut: $14.12 million
Positions eliminated: 224
Other: Reduce freshmen and transfers by 10 percent; eliminate Center for Excellence in Teaching and select degree programs in education, business, humanities and social studies
Clayton State University
Cut: $4.19 million
Positions eliminated: 24
Other: Reduce 168 course sections
Georgia Gwinnett College
Cut: $2.66 million
Positions eliminated: 32
Other: Cap enrollment at 3,000, affecting 2,000 students; delay nursing program
Atlanta Metropolitan College
Cut: $1.37 million
Positions eliminated: 5
Other: Eliminate 38 course offerings; eliminate local match for transportation project
Georgia Perimeter College
Cut $9.92 million
Positions eliminated: 50
Other: Eliminate programs affecting 4,748 students