The state spending plan was given final approval by the General Assembly on Friday after months of debate. "We are appreciative of the careful work and study that went into the budget," Muse said. "In times of economic downturn, such as these, it is imperative that public institutions be good stewards of public funds. We are prepared to do what is required to help the state manage what we hope is a short-term situation."
On the positive side, the budget provides a final $1.5 million installment in doctoral funding for ECU, Muse said. It also calls for an increase in distance education funding of $3 million because of the dramatic increase in Internet and off-campus initiatives, he said.
Negatives include permanent budget reductions of almost $3.5 million. Cuts will need to be made in vacant non-teaching positions, travel, equipment and other operating expenses, Muse said. In addition, the campus projects a $1.5 million shortage in its utility budget.
"We don’t anticipate any layoffs or any immediate effect on our students," Muse said, "although we will have to watch our spending carefully."
ECU News Bureau