GGC cuts budget by $1.8M
Board of Regents approves 6 percent reduction

LAWRENCEVILLE - Georgia Gwinnett College is cutting its $30 million budget by $1.8 million to comply with a 6 percent budget reduction approved Tuesday by the Board of Regents for the 35 University System of Georgia institutions.

The college will save $750,000 by reducing the number of new library books it purchases and $650,000 by not hiring new faculty members, spokeswoman Merri Brantley said. Georgia Gwinnett will also trim $400,000 in the area of information technology.

The $30 million is money Georgia Gwinnett College receives from the state and does not include student tuition and fees, Brantley said. The school does not have access to auxiliary money - such as funds generated from the sale of tickets to athletic events - to make up for the cuts.

"When they take money away from us, we don't have another pot of money ... to still buy most of those library books," Brantley said. "It really does have a direct impact on us because we're so young and so new."

If economic conditions worsen, however, the college is prepared to trim its budget even further, Brantley said.

The budget cuts amount to $136 million throughout the University System, according to a news release.

Institutions focused on five broad areas to meet the reductions, the news release states. A focus on achieving greater efficiency in administrative and academic operations as well as efforts to generate new dollars through other revenue sources accounts for $21 million. Lengthening equipment and physical plant replacement cycles and reducing library acquisitions will save $10 million. Institutions are reducing operational support costs, which includes student support services such as computer lab and library hours, by $26 million. Position reductions will save $24 million, and the delay of new academic programs, the elimination of some academic programs, a decrease in the number of classes taught by full-time faculty and the reduction in the number of course offerings accounts for $22 million.

Another $20 million in reductions was achieved by capping the employer share of the University System's indemnity health plan to the same level as its PPO plan.

The remaining $13 million is coming from reductions in related operations, such as the Agricultural Experiment Stations, the Cooperative Extension Service, Economic Development Institutes, Georgia Public Libraries and the University System Office, among others.

"Our institutions have responded to the serious challenges we face in terms of the state's economy," University System of Georgia Chancellor Erroll B. Davis Jr. said. "We are guided in our decisions by the priority to maintain, first and foremost, the System's core academic mission. However, we must protect this core mission without sacrificing the quality our students expect and deserve."