AUSTIN – Plans for an estimated budget cut of $175.3 million across The University of Texas System have been developed as part of the state’s call to reduce state appropriations for the current biennium by 5 percent, UT System officials announced today (Feb. 16).
Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus last month instructed state agencies including institutions of higher education to submit plans for the proposed budget cuts. The 5 percent cuts would be aimed at mitigating an estimated $4.3 billion budget gap in the current fiscal year, according to the state comptroller’s office.
The UT System response with a summary of the proposed budget cuts may be viewed online here. Proposals submitted by individual institutions are available on the UT System Office of the Controller Web site.
“While we know it will be difficult for our academic and health institutions to cut 5 percent of state appropriations over the biennium from their budgets, particularly in the middle of a fiscal year, we pledge to do our part to help state leaders address these continuing concerns,” UT System Chancellor Francisco G. Cigarroa, M.D., said. “During strained economic times, we must work together to meet challenges and help the state maintain critical services, including excellence in higher education and health care, that are important to all Texans,” Cigarroa added.
These reductions build on endeavors by the UT System Administration and its 15 institutions, which have been actively cutting costs for several years with ongoing initiatives such as sharing business and information technology operations, refinancing bond debt, and leveraging purchasing strength for medical equipment and supplies. And, in early 2009, the UT System implemented a System-wide flexible hiring freeze and senior-level executive compensation freeze.
The budget cuts will be distributed across the institutions and the UT System administration. Of the $175.3 million in budget cuts, $78.1 million are at the nine academic institutions and $97 million at the six health institutions.
Serving the educational and health care needs of Texans for more than 125 years, The University of Texas System is one of the nation’s largest higher education systems, with nine academic campuses and six health institutions. The UT System has an annual operating budget of $11.9 billion (FY 2010) including $2.5 billion in sponsored programs funded by federal, state, local and private sources. Preliminary student enrollment exceeded 202,000 in the 2009 academic year. The UT System confers more than one-third of the state's undergraduate degrees and educates nearly three-fourths of the state's health care professionals annually. With more than 84,000 employees, the UT System is one of the largest employers in the state.