Interim President Tim Miller released preliminary budget recommendations a subcommittee of students, faculty and staff proposed Thursday.
These recommendations propose several changes in the cost of parking on campus, the CFSB Center budget and the restructuring of administrative positions on campus. University vice presidents will meet Tuesday to review the recommendations. From there, the Board of Regents will receive the budget changes and decide whether or not to approve them at the Dec. 13 meeting.
A few of the major changes include:
– Restructure to move from four vice presidents to three, with a change in salary and benefits.
– Reduce academic colleges and schools by one.
– Increase annual parking tag fee from $55 to $75 and $35 to $45 for all students and employees.
– Merge Career Services and the Center for Academic Advising.
– Reduce CFSB budget and replace lost funds with a parking fee for paid events.
– Eliminate free parking tags.
– Examine the feasibility of additional tuition for those overload undergraduates approved to take 19 hours and above.
– Reduce athletics budget and efficiencies in student support activities.
– Eliminate the president’s chief of staff position.
– Evaluate the possibility of adding a per-semester Health Services charge of $12.50 for faculty and staff as well as the main campus students.
– Assess the efficiency of commuter parking on campus; consider breaking the red tags into three or four colors and make the purchasing of tags based on seniority.
Read the full list of proposed changes here.
These recommendations come after the University was forced to examine an additional expenditure of $3 million originally unaccounted for. This change in the budget was partially due to a $700,000 increase in health insurance costs.
In an email to students, faculty and staff Friday, Miller asked for these groups to send concerns to their vice presidents before Tuesday. He also offered the option of meeting with people personally before the recommendations are reviewed.
“There have been all kinds of rumors out about budget cuts,” Miller said in an interview last week. “I got an email saying the staff was concerned because they thought 200 people were going to be laid off. I’ve said publicly that we don’t want to lay off people. We may have to move people around, but we don’t want people to lose jobs.”
Miller emphasized the importance of increasing enrollment and retaining students.
“All of us need to work hard, including students to help (Murray State) recruit,” he said.
Miller said the total University budget is $157 million, $48 million of which comes from state funding. The rest, he said, is from student tuition and fees.
These recommendations come shortly after Miller presented to the Council on Postsecondary Education about several different factors regarding Murray State’s quality of education. He said 70 percent of Murray State’s funding used to come from the state, but while the cost of college has increased, state funding has decreased.
“We don’t want to hurt students,” Miller said. “But unfortunately, they’re bearing the brunt of the cost of education now.”
Story by Editor-in-Chief, Lexy Gross.