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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Employees safe from furloughs

Though the UA is sustaining almost $16 million in state funding cuts, UA employees will not be forced to take unpaid time off this year.

Prior to the current fiscal year, the President’s Office told faculty and staff to plan for furloughs, but not to schedule them until September at the earliest, President Robert Shelton said in a mass e-mail message to university employees on Tuesday.

“”When we were preparing for the current fiscal year, it was unclear whether the state would accept federal stimulus funding,”” he said. “”In anticipation of further budget cuts for the (fiscal year 2010) year, furloughs became a necessary component of efforts to balance our budget.””

Shelton stressed that the UA is not completely saved from its financial problems by the federal stimulus money that has been given to the university.

“”While critically important to our budget for this year, they do not resolve the more fundamental long-term issues that result from the state appropriation reductions,”” Shelton said. “”They do, however, make it possible to eliminate the furloughs that had been planned for this year.””

Gov. Jan Brewer formally applied for the federal stimulus money specifically for education in June, $146 million of which went to state universities. Of that amount, $56 million is for the UA.

The UA’s decrease in revenue from state funding comes on the heels of Brewer signing off on a $40 million cut to the state’s three public universities on Friday, ending the higher education standoff between the governor’s office and the state legislature that began in early summer.

The cuts include $15.8 million from the UA, $18.1 million from Arizona State University and $6.1 million from Northern Arizona University, said Andrea Smiley, the Arizona Board of Regents’ associate executive director for public affairs.

“”This is what we had been anticipating,”” she said.

The cuts do not include sweeps from private university funds. The universities’ three presidents and the board of regents threatened to sue the state legislature if funds sweeps were carried out.

The legislature had approved an additional $50 million in funds sweeps from state universities in June, a measure that was instantly vetoed by the governor.

University officials were concerned that funds sweeps could have disqualified Arizona’s universities from federal stimulus money by violating the “”maintenance of effort”” condition, Shelton told the Daily Wildcat in June.

In order for states to receive federal stimulus money, they must show a “”maintenance of effort”” in financial support for state higher education, according to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was signed by President Barack Obama in February.

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