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Pieces of Eight

Kevin Seitz, vice chancellor for administration and finance, and Phyllis Horns, interim vice chancellor for health sciences, addressed the ECU Staff Senate Jan. 22 with updates and a question and answer session on the university’s budget situation. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

ECU Deals with Budget Issues

By John Durham

As economic conditions continue to deteriorate, the university is taking a number of steps to respond to and prepare for current and future budget reductions.

Chancellor Steve Ballard last week announced the creation of a campus-wide budget committee whose charge is to help provide input to university leaders as they respond to the budget challenges. The committee will be led by Provost Marilyn Sheerer and Jan Tovey, chair of the faculty.

Ballard said that in addition to mandatory one-time reversions in the current fiscal year totaling more than $15 million, ECU has been instructed to develop options for 3 percent, 5 percent and 7 percent permanent budget reductions for the 2009-2011 fiscal years.

University leaders are meeting with various campus constituencies to answer questions about budget reductions. Vice Chancellors Kevin Seitz and Phyllis Horns attended a meeting of the Staff Senate last week, and Seitz and others will be at an open forum on the budget from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 18 in Hendrix Theatre.

The latest budget management guidelines for the University stipulate that for transactions involving state-appropriated funds:

  • All vacant positions, including those resulting from new funding in 2008-09, must remain unfilled until June 30.
  • All new salary increases, including stipends, career progression/in-range salary adjustments, etc., are prohibited. Requests for exceptions must be approved by the appropriate vice chancellor.
  • All non-essential travel must be eliminated.
  • All non-essential purchase of materials, supplies, services, furniture, equipment, etc. must cease.
  • Energy conservation efforts must be increased to reduce utility costs.
This page originally appeared in the Jan. 30, 2009 issue of Pieces of Eight. Complete issue is archived at