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September 28, 2001

Strategies to deal with budget cuts in the works

by Anne Krapfl
Iowa State leaders still are studying how the university might absorb an anticipated $18.56 million mid-year funding cut from the state, if it is enacted as proposed by Gov. Tom Vilsack. President Gregory Geoffroy said he will share information with the university community as decisions are made.

Geoffroy is working with the vice presidents and Provost Rollin Richmond to develop a strategy, including how much of the $18.56 million might be absorbed through centrally funded budget items. Geoffroy also has asked the Task Force on Strategic Effectiveness and Budget Priorities to swiftly recommend some ways the university could meet the governor's proposed cut. Geoffroy appointed the task force in August to help him take a big-picture look at how the university can operate more efficiently and effectively and deal with budget challenges such as this one.

Gov. Tom Vilsack announced Sept. 20 that he will ask the Iowa Legislature to deappropriate $108.2 million from the state's FY02 budget when it convenes in January. Vilsack said the Board of Regents, State of Iowa's portion of that is $46.9 million, of which Iowa State's share is $18.56 million (approximately 7 percent of the university's state appropriation for the year).

"Clearly, a mid-year deappropriation of $18.56 million from our budget will be difficult to handle," Geoffroy said. "A reduction of this magnitude will severely jeopardize the quality of many of our programs. We will do everything we can to lessen that impact."

For the short term, Geoffroy asks people to identify and hold funds in reserve for possible cuts.

"My hope is that we'll make some decisions very soon," he said, "but in the meantime, our flexibility decreases with each passing day."

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