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August 3, 2009

ULM shares decisions in response to budget cuts

Following months of cooperation among the faculty, staff and administration at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, plans affecting the 2009-10 fiscal year budget were revealed in “A Report to the ULM Community,” today, Aug. 3.

The Strategic Resource Allocation Committee, the Faculty and Staff Senates, and ULM President James Cofer shared budget decisions in response to Louisiana’s significant higher education cuts. The university absorbed, between July 1, 2008 and July 1, 2009, an approximately $6.8-million dollar reduction in state funding.

Thirty-six faculty and staff will not be given renewed contracts, and 41.5 vacant faculty and staff positions will be eliminated. All areas of the university are affected by the reduction in personnel. In addition, ULM is implementing a furlough of between one and four days for staff, based on annual salary level, pending the University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors' approval. Exceptions to that rule are those employees with an annual salary less than $30,000, and ULM law enforcement personnel. No faculty members are required to take furlough.

President Cofer expressed his appreciation to the budget committees, faculty and staff senates, deans, and vice presidents; in March they began working together to address the proposed budget reductions while maintaining the academic integrity of the institution.

In a letter to faculty and staff, Cofer wrote, “The process we developed together is a model of efficiency and cooperation among all of the campus constituencies. This extremely thorough process ensures that ULM is well-positioned in the face of current and future budget decisions. I want to thank each of these groups for their hard work in helping the university weather this fiscal storm.”

Cofer went on to say, "We want to make sure that the decisions that we make properly position us for the future. Therefore, the process of developing this budget will continue throughout the year."

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