Texas colleges to slice at least $1 million

Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2003

AMARILLO, Texas -- Amarillo College and West Texas A&M University are each preparing to cut more than $1 million from their current fiscal year budgets, the result of Gov. Rick Perry's mandate requiring state agencies to cut spending.

AC is expecting to cut $1.5 million from its current budget, AC President Bud Joyner said during Monday's board of regents meeting.

WT plans to announce the need to cut nearly $1.8 million at a faculty and staff meeting Tuesday.

Joyner said he received verification late Friday from the Texas Association of Community Col-leges that community colleges were included in Perry's order for state agencies to reduce budgets.

"The numbers I have are prepared by our association and I do not have anything definitive in writing from the state," Joyner said. "So, these are unofficial (numbers)."

Joyner told the regents he will notify them of measures that will need to be taken.

"We will be making some decisions immediately because we can't wait to start some reductions and efficiencies," Joyner said, adding the situation was serious and would result in some hardships on the college.

Three areas Joyner identified as being the last he would want to be considered for cutbacks are terminating anyone whose position is viable and justified; cutting salaries; and eliminating direct services to students in ways that would be detrimental.

AC Board of Regents Chairman Larry Patterson told Joyner news of the cuts is disappointing, but the regents would do what they could to help.

"I think if there are extra hours, time or effort that the board needs to make, I think we're ready to do that," Patterson said. "Hopefully, the state will find some way to work our way out of this and economic times will improve and this will be a short-term situation."

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