University of Wyoming President Tom Buchanan says employee salary increases might not be possible if the state legislature’s Joint Appropriations Committee requires steep cuts in the university’s next biennial block grant.
U-W requested an additional $9.7 million dollars be allocated to give U-W employees a pay increase in its next budget. However, the J-A-C has asked state departments to make plans for two, five and eight percent budget cuts to cope with diminished state revenue from natural gas prices.
President Buchanan says the university could handle a two percent budget cut with a salary increase, but beyond that would be problematic.
“About 75 percent of our budget are people,” says Buchanan. “So as soon as you start to move into really substantial budget reduction, it impacts people. And that means either not filling positions that have been vacant by folks who’ve retired or resigned or left the university or laying off folks. And that’s not something we want to have to do if we have any options.”
Senate committee chairman Phil Nicholas had proposed budget cuts, but he may consider freezing budgets until fiscal year 2014 when they could re-look at the revenue picture.
The J-A-C will begin marking its biennial budget on Monday.