The University of Wyoming has announced that it will freeze hiring to comply with Governor Matt Mead’s prescribed 8-percent budget cuts for all state agencies. This is meant as a measure to deal with a projected natural gas revenue shortfall.
In a memo, UW President Tom Buchanan wrote the university’s general fund appropriation could drop by almost 16-million dollars next fiscal year.
Provost Myron Allen says that, to preemptively soften the blow, U-W will begin cutting spending and freezing open academic and staff positions next month.
“If we don’t start holding some dollars back, meeting an 8-percent budget reduction on July 1, 2013 would be like stepping off a cliff. We just couldn’t reasonably handle it all in one fell swoop.”
The university announced it will not fill many vacant faculty positions in hopes of saving 1 million dollars per year, but there’s no set goal for how many non-academic staff positions will be left open in order to save funds.
UW Staff Senate President-Elect Ben Marks says staff shortages will challenge all departments, but he’s glad the university is planning ahead.
“Staff senate would rather see management through attrition rather than lay-offs down the road as a way to manage the situation.”
UW Officials say if the governor and legislature decide next year that the cuts are unnecessary, spending and hiring could return to normal. Meanwhile, vacant staff positions will be reviewed quarterly.