Budget cuts lead to lost jobs
Published: Thursday, September 20, 2012
Updated: Thursday, September 20, 2012 10:09
Over $3 million in cuts.
That is the number President Wilson Bradshaw gave to the FGCU Board of Trustees at Tuesday’s meeting.
Making matters worse, of the $3,626,155 eliminated from the budget, more than $2.3 million was cut from the Division of Academic Affairs.
These cuts especially affected student workers.
FGCU cut 31 Other Personal Services (OPS) student positions within the Division of Academic Affairs, according to the 2012-2013 budget reduction report. This will save the university approximately $334,000. However, the cut OPS positions included student staff for the library, which recently received criticism for significantly reducing its hours.
Overall, 93 full-time and two part-time positions were cut, including 25 OPS student positions within the Division of the Office of the President and 26 staff and OPS positions within the Division of Administrative Services and Finance.
Students will also have to endure larger class sizes due to the budget cuts.
Twelve vacant staff positions were eliminated permanently and adjunct professors for 135 courses were laid off, saving the university about $1.4 million.
Bradshaw said the budget reductions were significant because this was the sixth consecutive year of cuts at FGCU.
“Using the ‘cutting the fat’ analogy, we were at bone a long time ago,” he said.
Trustee Edward Morton said the cuts are imbalanced since FGCU had to cut as significantly as larger universities.
“This is somewhat analogous to the University of Florida being a 300-pound sumo wrestler and Florida Gulf Coast being a 100-pound female marathon runner and both universities are being asked to cut, both
athletes being asked to cut 30 pounds,” Morton said. “There seems to be no rationale behind the manner with which the revenues are set, by either the state or the Board of Governors,”
“This university is laboring under a significant handicap,” Morton added.
Bradshaw later expressed the danger of letting the cuts inhibit FGCU’s potential as a higher-learning institute.
“My fear is mediocrity,” he said. “Mediocrity is not our goal. Excellence is our goal.”
Bradshaw also said he meets with students, especially Student Body President Peter Cuderman, and welcomes their thoughts on the changes that are occurring.
“The hardest part is trying to convey to students that we really still invest in their success, but there is a reality we have to work within,” Bradshaw said. “What we need to hear back is when are we stepping over the line? When does this become counterproductive to students?”