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October 24, 2003

University needs to cut $8.3 million from FY04 budget

by John McCarroll
Work continues on Iowa State's plan to comply with Gov. Tom Vilsack's 2.5 percent budget reduction order for this fiscal year (FY04). President Gregory Geoffroy said he hopes to finalize $8.3 million in budget reductions by the end of next week.

"Initially, I had hoped to advise faculty, staff and students on the budget plan this week, but it's a complex process and we're carefully and thoroughly looking at all functions within the university. It's taking a little longer than I had planned," Geoffroy said.

On Oct. 10, Gov. Vilsack ordered a 2.5 percent across-the-board reduction in state spending. This will mean the loss of $5.8 million from Iowa State's base budget. In addition, Geoffroy said the university has a $1.5 million shortfall in tuition revenue and a $1 million shortfall in income from indirect cost recovery.

Geoffroy is consulting with the Advisory Committee on Budget Priorities and Planning, deans and members of his Cabinet to develop the plan to reduce spending. Three components of the university's general fund budget are excluded from the cuts: student financial aid, Office of Enrollment Services and the budget for fuel and utilities.

"We're going to keep our commitment to students to help them finance their education and maintain the resources we have committed toward enrolling more students in fall 2004," Geoffroy said. "As we deal with this additional cut in state support, tuition income becomes even more important."

Reductions in state appropriations totaling $58 million over the last four years have severely limited any flexibility to absorb this latest cutback, Geoffroy said. The loss of $5.8 million reduces Iowa State's appropriation this year to $227 million, slightly less than the appropriation seven years ago for FY97 -- without adjustment for inflation.

Iowa State's enrollment is up more than 2,400 students this year, compared with seven years ago.

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