Admin. pass ‘unallotment’ down to departments

The first effects of MinnesotaâÄôs budget deficit are trickling down through the University of MinnesotaâÄôs chain of command. Gov. Tim Pawlenty announced last month that the University will receive $20 million less than expected. This âÄúunallotmentâÄù is the UniversityâÄôs portion of the $426 million the state expects to be short this biennium. University Vice President for Budget and Finance Richard Pfutzenreuter said the University has spread the budget cut across all departments. Cuts were not based on a formula, he said, but were based on the academic vice presidentsâÄô assessment of their ability to deal with a loss. E-mails explaining how much each department must give back were sent out last Monday. Colleges have been directed not to reduce financial aid as they make their decisions, Pfutzenreuter said. Departments will probably deal with the cuts mostly by delaying purchases and cutting discretionary expenditures. College of Liberal Arts Associate Dean for Planning Gary Oehlert said the budget was tight at CLA before $1.4 million in cuts were announced last Monday . The college will be forced to cut a number of initiatives, including research and scholarships. The scholarships had not been awarded to anyone as financial aid yet, Oehlert said, and would have been used for recruiting. Andrea Backes, the director of finance for the College of Biological Science , said her college will be meeting this week to determine where it will find the $550,000 to cut from its budget. She said the college will look at savings from open positions, putting off purchases and draining cash reserves. Pfutzenreuter said within the units that answer to him, such as the tax and controllerâÄôs offices, he would look at where he had some flexibility in spending. He said he would not be firing anyone or cutting pay. âÄúThese are one-time items,âÄù he said. âÄúSo you tighten your belt. This is not the big cut thatâÄôs coming âĦ in the next round when the governor does his larger set of budget cuts.âÄù Minnesota is predicting a $4.8 billion dollar budget deficit for the 2010-2011 biennium. University President Bob Bruininks said in December that the University could be facing big cuts because more than half of its budget comes from the state.