A state budget reduction has resulted in a $1.1 million cut for the University of Central Arkansas’ 2010 budget.
Jeff Pitchford, spokesman for UCA, said Gov. Mike Beebe announced the state budget cuts last week. The 2010 budget year begins in July. The university will be required to submit its amended budget to the Department of Finance and Administration by Nov. 4, Pitchford said.
Pitchford commented, "If we’re going to have our budget cut, it’s better now than later. Right now it gives us eight months to absorb. If they’ve got to do it, now’s the time."
He said President Allen Meadors has asked each of the vice presidents to identify programs in their areas where they can find cost savings.
"We’re trying to make cuts without affecting anything in the classroom directly. We’ll work on finding other things before we get to (the classroom)," Pitchford said.
Mike Stormes, director of the Office of Budget at the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, said the budget cut is due to the slow economy, which has resulted in a decrease in both sales tax and income tax collections. Because the state has the Revenue Stabilization law, officials had to cut the budget once it became apparent that income was not going to meet the initial budget forecast, he said. A mathematical calculation determined how much was cut from each department or organization, he added.
The total state budget was reduced from $4,508,749,059 to $4,408,774,130, a difference of $15,843,137. UCA’s budget was reduced from $52,344,206 to $51,183,065, a difference of $1,161,142, or 2.22 percent.
Most other funds in the state budget, including other state-funded universities and colleges, were cut by roughly 2 percent as well, with a few exceptions that were cut by larger percentages. The Department of Correction was cut by 3.15 percent; the Department of Community Correction was cut by 4.51 percent; the Department of Health was cut by 3.90 percent; and the State Police was cut by 3.15 percent.