How LAS units’ budgets cuts will hurt


By Christin Watkins

Budget cuts continue to be a trend at the University, with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences requesting that each unit reduce their budget by 5 percent.

For the Department of Communication, that totals to about a $200 thousand loss, said David Tewksbury, head professor of communication.

“Every cut hurts,” he said. “Life for the students in that department gets a little bit worse every time.”

If these cuts continue, it will become more and more difficult to sustain the college, he said.

“If we get a lot more, it’s going to be more painful every time,” he said. “As they say, we’re cutting into muscle, the fat is gone.”

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According to the University’s Division of Management Information 2014-2015 campus profile, 90.3 percent of the unit’s budget is unchangeable because it goes toward faculty and staff salary.

“The majority of our budget can’t be changed,” he said. “If one of our faculty members were to retire next year, that’s a class I won’t be able to refill.”

There are over 14 thousand students in LAS who will be affected by these cuts, said Brian Ross, LAS Executive Associate Dean.

“The ongoing lack of a state budget creates uncertainty and stress for students and their families as well as faculty and staff,” he said.

This budget distress will continue until the state decides on a fiscal budget for higher education.

“With the budget uncertainty created by the ongoing impasse in Springfield, the College of LAS has been working to proactively reduce spending for the current fiscal year,” he said.

These cuts reduce the quality of higher education offered to students, by making it necessary to increase class sizes and reduce the number of teacher’s assistants, Tewksbury said.

“Our job is to give the students the best education, and this makes it hard to do that,” he said.

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