By Keren G. Raz
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Friday September 27, 2002
TEMPE ¸ The UA is bracing for more cuts because the state simply has no money to give, President Peter Likins told the Arizona Board of Regents yesterday.
Likins plans to alter a budget request for next year that he will present to the today at ASU in light of the potentially growing budget cuts.
He originally planned to request funds for operational programs, such as hiring of more graduate teaching assistants, granting raises to slow the loss of staff and faculty to higher-paying institutions, and dedicating more money for research on water quality and sustainability in Arizona.
But now, Likins intends to divert money from some of those operational requests in order to request funds to build research buildings.
For example, Likins said that rather than requesting $2 million to hire more GTAs to lessen the current GTA workload, he could ask for $1 million, adding that he would then ask that the remaining $1 million be used to build research buildings.
The state will be more willing to give money to research buildings because the members of the Legislature may see the possibility of getting a return on the investment once researchers begin bringing in research dollars, Likins said.
Gov. Jane Dee Hull is expected to attend today's meeting for a discussion on the budget.
Hull has asked state agencies to prepare for 10 percent budget cuts, which amounts to about $33 million for the UA alone.
"The latest prediction, which is probably accurate, is that we'll have a $1 billion dollar shortfall (in the state 2003-2004 budget)," said Regent Gary Stuart.
The funding request the regents plan to forward to the Legislature after this meeting are supposed to supplement the money the Legislature normally sets aside for the university. The UA is set to receive about $340 million from the state for 2003 ÷ 2004. The $54 million request Likins will be asking regents to approve at today's meeting is additional money the UA needs to replace state funding cut last year, he said.
Currently, the Arizona universities receive 33 percent of the money they need from the state, but that number is likely to decrease to 26 percent after more cuts take their toll, Stuart said.
Likins' move is in response to ASU President Michael Crow's budget change, which will divert money away from ASU West, ASU East and faculty raises, said Matt Ortega, for the Board spokesman.
Jenny Rose contributed to this report.