Tuesday, March 02, 2010
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The University of West Georgia recently had to develop and submit a budget reduction plan for $8.1 million. This request came after Georgia state legislators asked the University System of Georgia to draft a plan for an additional $300 million in cuts.
It is important to note that these submissions are drafts – works in progress. It is possible that the Legislature, when it sees the enormous pain that would occur, would seriously modify its approach.
But it’s also important to note the magnitude of hardship UWG and the University System might face.
As the state seeks to extract an additional $1 billion from its overall budget, the University System’s share of that cut, $300 million, would amount to 30 percent of that total. But the University System receives only 12 percent of the state’s budget.
That disproportionate impact would be damaging to the state’s colleges and universities, and is something legislators will have to give serious consideration.
If you have an opinion on this, you should share it with your elected representatives.
Such severe cuts could hurt the very future of this state by reducing its intellectual capital -- including faculty, support functions, and students. U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia, who visited campus recently, made a point of saying that our political system is not a spectator sport -- it is an intensely participative one; so, it would be very appropriate for each of us to let our elected representatives know how we feel about these cuts and the importance of higher education.
UWG and the 34 other institutions in the University System have already endured substantial reductions.
Call or e-mail your state lawmakers today to let them know where you stand on higher education and its critical role in shaping the state’s future.
Find Your Lawmaker
See How Higher Education Pays off for Georgia
Hear What President Beheruz N. Sethna has to Say
You can also view updates on the state legislative budget process at a newly created UWG budget website. Links to relevant documents and websites, contact information for representatives and other resource information will be available.