Sunday April 14th, 2024 11:15AM

UNG expects trouble ahead of $66M state budget cut

By Joy Holmes Multimedia Journalist

University of North Georgia President Bonita Jacobs addressed faculty and staff Thursday with concerns of the $66 million budget cut for Fiscal Year 2024 passed Wednesday by Georgia legislatures.

“The new and unexpected budget cut is concerning,” President Bonita Jacobs said in a letter to UNG faculty and staff.

UNG has projected a $2.54 million decrease in state funding for FY 2024. The university was also faced with a 10-percent state appropriations cut of $8.67 million in FY 2021 and a $13 million loss in tuition revenue and state funding related to credit hour declines between FY 2021 to 2025, according to officials.

“The credit hour declines are attributed to a strong local labor market, the effects of the pandemic on student enrollment, and national decreases in the number of traditional college-age students. At UNG, those trends have been particularly evident in losses of students seeking associate degrees, ” Jacobs said. “At the same time, the university must cover increased operating costs related to the employer portion of the health insurance premiums and utility cost increases of more than $1 million.”

The university is prepared to take measures to reduce expenditures and planned around $8 million in cuts to its operations, travel and personal budgets for FY 2024. UNG notified three non-tenure track faculty that their contracts would not be renewed for the 2023-2024 academic year; however, other personnel reductions have been absorbed through vacant positions and strategic hiring evaluations, according to Jacobs.

“The budget cut passed by legislatures this week will further impact teaching budgets, staffing and student services as the university seeks to reduce costs. To cover some of the cuts, [UNG] may use its state-authorized carry-forward reserves, which are typically used to ensure continuity of services during fluctuations in enrollment, to cover unexpected operating cost increases, to invest in equipment and technology, and to fund emergency infrastructure repairs,” she said.

The Fiscal Year 2024 budget will begin July 1.

The budget bill passed by legislature this week now waits for Governor Kemp’s approval. He has 40 days to approve or veto the bill.

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  • Associated Tags: Georgia legislature, ung, University of North Georgia
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