Fighting the downsizing of education at the University of Vermont.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

House Budget Bill Would Eliminate UVM Budget Gap

First Fogel said $22 million.

Next he said $28 million.

Then, after two "treasury operations" transfers, the budget gap was $14.7 million, and Fogel told the deans they must cut $15 million from next year's budgets.

But now the House, so that Vermont qualifies for federal stimulus money, has passed a budget that will maintain the full level of funding for UVM next year: $5 million of the projected deficit evaporates.

More, it appears the House budget also includes, to meet the stimulus eligibility guidelines, a return of $5.4 million of this year's rescission. If applied to the budget deficit, that would shrink the gap to $4.3 million. The House bill also adds $5.4 million in stimulus money to next year's UVM appropriation. The deficit entirely disappears.

We're a long, long way from $28 million.

But whether the restored money goes to restoring jobs and halting tuition and fee increases, as Congress intended, and whether the administration places itself on a strict spending--and reduction--diet so that UVM can staff programs and keep the cost to students down: That's up to us.

Hope to see a large crowd Monday morning 8:30 am in Waterman where the "Let Them Eat Gruel?" budget-cut protest now has a new purpose--not only to protest the starvation of academic programs (an English department losing its only professor positions in Victorian lit, creative writing/fiction, and British and Irish modern lit; a Poli Sci department threatened with the loss of any faculty to cover International Politics) but to demand that the restored state money be used to restore jobs and programs.

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