Provost rejects vague budget cut proposals

Kari Petrie

Nearly a week after receiving University department budget cut proposals, Provost Christine Maziar said she returned some proposals that lacked specific details on reductions.

“Some of the proposals were a little ambiguous,” she said.

Department officials said revising the proposals should not slow down the process of finalizing cuts and should not leave students, faculty and staff in limbo.

All proposals must be approved by the provost’s office.

“We’re all playing on the same team here,” Maziar said.

Last month, University President Robert Bruininks mandated institution-wide budget reductions to address Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s Feb. 7 $25 million University funding cut for the current fiscal year.

Maziar declined to identify which colleges had proposals returned for clarification.

Cindy Hanson, spokeswoman for Carlson School of Management, said the school’s proposal was returned with instructions asking it to specify which programs would be cut.

“It’s very important that we have a good, clear description of how these cuts are going to be made,” Maziar said.

She said several departments made appropriate cuts, including University Libraries.

Wendy Lougee, a University librarian, said the libraries cut areas deemed inefficient. Other cuts include reductions in program support, cost recovery and slowing the investment of infrastructure.

Specific reductions include shortening hours for service availability, eliminating subject specialists and delaying computer replacement. For the past couple years, the libraries have tried to update approximately 900 computer work stations. But students will not feel the effects of these cuts right away, Lougee said.

Lougee said University Libraries cut $96,000 from the $8 million collection budget. The collection budget funds online references, such as newspapers and periodicals. Lougee added that students will most likely feel the effects of that decision.