UNC faces new budget reductions, state-funded position hiring freeze

State and University leaders are doing what they can now to help offset the challenges that lie ahead in coping with an estimated $3.7 billion revenue gap for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Gov. Beverly Perdue and the Office of State Budget and Management recently directed state agencies to reduce state spending by an additional 2.5 percent in one-time cuts, to hold state-funded jobs vacant and to limit purchase orders, travel and training. That is on top of a 1 percent management flexibility reduction directed last August, Chancellor Holden Thorp said in a campus e-mail message on Monday.

Although the freeze did not specify the UNC system, President Tom Ross and Erskine Bowles endorsed adopting the same state cut targets and the hiring freeze on state-funded positions last month. On Jan. 3, the University announced how the freeze affects positions here.

At Perdue’s request, UNC campuses submitted permanent state funding cut scenarios of 5 percent and 10 percent to General Administration, Thorp said. Chancellors also have been asked to consider potential cuts of up to 15 percent.

Thorp said he hoped cuts would not reach that level. “Postponing inevitable cuts for next year until later this spring or summer will only make things worse later,” he said. “For three years, we’ve been well served by taking proactive steps, and it’s more important than ever to do that again.”

Thorp announced cuts in programs, operations and staffing equal to a campuswide 5 percent permanent state budget reduction – about $26 million – effective July 1.

For more, see the University Gazette.

More budget-related messages and background.