Budget lapse ‘very unlikely’ to create layoffs

The UW System has yet to hear a response to the memo they sent in October asking the Department of Administration for a more equitable approach to the statewide budget lapse.

Telfer

Currently, the UW System is being asked to pay $65.7 million, or 38 percent, of the $174.3 million budget lapse. The lapse is a one-time reduction to all state agencies.

Chancellor Richard Telfer said layoffs at this point are very unlikely because most contracts are for both first and second semester.

“The students are going to be here whether we have people teaching those classes or not,” Telfer said. “The biggest difficulty is figuring out what it [the lapse] is going to be. We’re planning for a lapse of between $2 million and $3.3 million.”

The university has been discussing what potentially could be cut, Telfer said.

The lapse, which is in addition to the $250 million budget cuts already being made to the UW System over the biennium, came as a surprise to most state agency heads.

UW-Whitewater was expecting  to see a $1,985,927 additional cuts  this school year because of the lapse, but depending on the response from the D.O.A. the dollar estimate might change.

“The Strategic Planning and Budget Commitee met last month and looked very carefully at some things we could and could not cut,” Telfer said. “First, we said that we are not trying to go after positions.”

Telfer said cutting a certain major or program is a possibility, but is really more of a long-term discussion.

“We need to look at all of our programs and see if there are any where we don’t have very many people,” Telfer said. “Then we need to decide if we can continue to support that major.”

Budget Director Aimee McCann said no decisons have been made with regards to the handling of the lapse.

She said herself, Telfer and other university personnel have been continuing conversations with groups across campus to develop a plan.

“At this point no decisions have been made,” McCann said. “We’re still working with the dollar estimates provided by the UW System, but don’t have an actual amount of the lapse.”

Telfer said the Strategic Planning and Budget Committee is meeting the first week of the spring semester in January.

At that time, Telfer said he hopes to have a better idea of where the lapse amount will come from.

“The cuts will probably come from a lot of different things,” Telfer said.

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