First wave of budget cuts includes 16 layoffs

The University of Vermont announced the first wave of budget cuts, totaling $10.8 million, early Friday afternoon.The specifics of the cuts included laying-off 16 staff members and not filling 34 currently vacant faculty and staff positions. The details of personnel-related cuts did not deviate much from what was discussed by members of the administration over the past several weeks, although the announcement also include details of cuts to sports teams and health services.The full details of the cuts as laid-out in the announcements included:? Eliminating 16 vacant staff positions across the University? Not filling 18 existing vacant tenure-track faculty positions and 4 new faculty positions? Notifying 16 staff employees that they will be laid off? Freezing FY 2010 salaries for non-unionized employees earning more than $75,000? Discontinuing two varsity sports, Men’s Baseball and Women’s Softball, effective at the end of the spring 2009 season? Implementing reductions in administrative areas totaling $8.3 million, ($7.3 million general fund; $1 million non-general fund)? Reducing general fund budgets in academic areas by $3.5 million? Eliminating physical therapy services through the Center for Health and Wellbeing? Increasing financial aid by $3 million above earlier planned expenditure for next year to support students and families, bringing additional investment next year to $10 million (Total UVM investment in financial aid: $62 million).? Increasing by 5 percent the overall student/faculty ratio, from 15.2-to-1 to about 16-to-1, an increase that has long been an element of UVM’s strategic plan.”I recognize and deeply appreciate that this is not easy for anyone, especially those most directly affected,” UVM President Daniel Mark Fogel said.In the press release, Fogel detailed the measures that would be taken to compensate those affected by the cuts, including severance packages to laid-off faculty and staff, as well as the continuation of athletic scholarships for players on cut sports teams. The second phase of cuts, which should be announced in April, could include the lay-offs of 26 additional staff members, according to the press release. In order to deal with a budget deficit of almost $30 million, UVM administration is planning to cut an additional $4.2 million from the 2010 budget and $1 million from the budget for 2011.