Budget forecast bleak

Next fiscal year, New College’s operating budget is expected to decrease by $2 million because the college will no longer be receiving federal stimulus money and $900,000 worth of nonrecurring appropriations. Vice President of Finance and Administration John Martin said that there is a possibility that the state will cut more of New College’s funding because Florida will be operating at a deficit of $3.6 billion.

A college-wide budget committee including students, faculty and staff convenes each year when the legislature is in session. The committee observes what the legislature is doing and decides how the college will allocate its money in the forthcoming fiscal year.

“We’ll have to go through line item by line item and figure out where we’ll go about saving,” Martin said. “We don’t have to save it all at one time. We don’t have to find $2 million worth of cuts immediately on July 1 because we have cash reserved that can help us while we plan the cuts. But, yeah, it will be an exercise to say, ‘Okay, how are we going to do this?’”

He added, “I think its fair to say that tuition is going to go up again next year by 15 percent. But the most that it can go up is by 15 percent for the in-state piece. The out-of-state piece won’t go up that much because we are one of the lowest for in-state students but we are one of the higher states in terms of charging for out-of-state student tuition.”

In the past four years, the state has cut $3.4 million from New College’s budget and the college has lost $1 or $2 million in monies from the New College Foundation.

“Things aren’t looking too good for the next several years,” Martin reflected. “It won’t just be a one year thing and then everything’s gonna be all hunky dory. One of our guiding principals has been to protect the academic core … We’ve replaced faculty who have retired or moved on from other jobs. New College hasn’t laid anyone off. The other universities have laid off several hundred employees including tenured faculty. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we won’t have to go that way.”

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