UT Board of Trustees approves budget, tuition increases

UT Board of Trustees approves budget, tuition increases

KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved a $1.8 billion budget for fiscal year 2010. It includes one-time federal stimulus funding and increases tuition at every campus.

Trustees at the board's annual meeting in Knoxville also approved Acting UT President Jan Simek's plans for an initial phase of reorganizing the UT System administrative structure.

UT has been preparing for a $65.6 million cut in state appropriations. That cut is reflected in the budget, which goes into effect July 1.

However, the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provides funding for states to allocate to education.

UT is slated to receive $92 million in total federal stimulus and state stabilization funds for the coming fiscal year.

Total state appropriations are projected to be $514 million, slightly more than a year ago.

"At the end of this period, UT will be a different university than it is now. We will be leaner and more efficient," Simek said in a press release.

"We are not saved. We recognize that," he added. "There are difficult choices in front of us. There are difficult choices we have already made," he added. 

Uses for the stimulus funds include retaining lecturers and adjunct faculty, upgrading technology in classrooms, maintaining facilities and undertaking energy efficiency projects.

About 500 jobs have been targeted to be eliminated systemwide in the next two years. Around 300 of those jobs are currently filled.

Those positions will be shifted to stimulus funding in order to keep the affected employees at UT for up to two years before their positions are eliminated.

Targeted positions at the system level will be moved to other non-state funding sources.

During the next two years, the university will provide assistance to find other employment inside and outside UT, Simek said.

UT Knoxville will receive the largest portion of the stimulus funding at $48.3 million.

The rest of the funding is being dispensed like this:

  • The UT Health Science Center - $15.5 million
  • UT Chattanooga - $11.5 million
  • UT Martin - $8.5 million
  • Institute of Agriculture - $7.3 million
  • Space Institute - $1 million
  • Institute for Public Service - $780,000

The board also approved recommendations to increase tuition. UT is projected to receive $392 million in revenue from tuition and fees, an increase of about $30 million from last year.

Tuition increases (not including other fees) vary by campus:

  • UT Knoxville -- 9 percent, or $490 for in-state undergraduate and $564 graduate
  • UT Chattanooga -- 7 percent, or $296 for in-state undergraduate and $354 for graduate
  • UT Martin -- 7 percent, or $308 for in-state undergraduate and $368 for graduate
  • UT Space Institute -- 9 percent, or $564 for in-state graduate
  • UT Health Science Center -- 10 percent with amounts varying for each discipline
  • Veterinary Medicine -- 20 percent, or $2,908 for in-state

UT's FY 2010 budget was developed based on the amount of state appropriations allotted in Gov. Phil Bredesen's state budget proposal.

If the final version of the budget passed by the Legislature alters the state appropriations for UT, the board has authorized the university to modify its budget within available resources.

Officials say the functions of two vice presidents' offices will be eliminated, redistributed within the system administration or delegated to the campuses.

Those include:

  • Science and Technology -- Created to strengthen the UT-Oak Ridge National Laboratory partnership, this position has successfully fulfilled its purpose.
  • Strategic Planning and Operations -- Strategic planning functions will shift to Academic Affairs while operations will shift to the campuses.

In addition, the title of vice president will be dropped from five positions:

  • Chief Human Resources Officer
  • General Counsel and Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Chief Information Officer (The current officer was hired without the vice president title.)
  • UT Health Science Center Chancellor (Title had included Vice President for Health Affairs)

Ongoing evaluations will study the functions of the Institute for Public Service and the Office of Equity and Diversity, and the role of the system in overseeing athletics at UT Knoxville.

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