Budget Cuts Examined
By John Durham
Officials at East Carolina University are assessing ways to deal with a 2 percent reduction in the university’s state appropriations, which was announced in September by the Office of State Budget and Management.
The latest reduction, a one-time decrease, amounts to about $5 million. It comes on top of a $2 million permanent cut enacted by the General Assembly during the summer in the state budget bill.
Kevin Seitz, vice chancellor for administration and finance at ECU, said, “Given the current economic conditions, we had anticipated this mandatory reduction. We appreciate the state’s continuing support of the university and we will carefully implement these requirements.”
Seitz said the university will look at several cost-cutting measures, including a temporary freeze in non-faculty hiring, eliminating non-essential travel and curtailing optional spending. “If we have a contractual obligation, such as a lease, we will spend money for that, but we might delay buying a new truck or piece of equipment,” he said. Because the budget cut is non-recurring, the university will not be forced to lay off employees as it implements reductions, Seitz said.
The university’s annual budget totals more than $650 million. Of that, about $250 million is state appropriations.