Tuskegee University to make budget cuts

Published: Feb. 2, 2016 at 9:32 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 3, 2016 at 5:52 PM CST
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TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) - Tuskegee University's chief financial officer announced Tuesday that revenues for the year are "well under budget" and cost-cutting efforts are immediately needed.

Office of Business and Fiscal Affairs Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Rick Kisner made the announcement in a letter to faculty and staff.

Kisner said after completion of a thorough review of the university's revenues, there is a need for campus-wide budget cuts. The reductions are aimed at "non-personnel costs." No layoffs were mentioned.

"I am instituting immediate reductions to basic budget expenditures, including, but not limited to consulting and contract services; supplies and equipment; traveling and training; and all other non-essential/non-core areas throughout the University," Kisner wrote.

Kisner said the cuts would be a minimum of 15 to 20 percent. In addition to the cuts, a hiring freeze that was approved in November as a way of controlling personnel costs will continue into the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

Kisner said the actions were needed "to address these budget shortfalls while ensuring and laying the groundwork for a long-term financial stability plan that is congruent with the University's mission and supports SACSCOC reaccreditation."

SACSCOC is short for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

When reached for comment on the cuts, a university spokesperson confirmed the budget reductions but said no one was available for an interview. Robert Blakely, the vice president for advancement and development, released a statement saying the decisions "are among a series of actions being undertaken to continue providing a quality education for our students."

Blakely's statement went on to say Tuskegee University is "currently engaged in a zero-based budgeting processes with unit budget hearings in the construction of the Fiscal Year 2017 budget."

He said the move was made to avoid similar mid-year actions in future budgets.

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