Departments cut budgets to aid in $2.5 million loss

SHSU has to meet a $2.5 million budget cut by the end of this fiscal year in accordance with a statewide slice into public education money.

Each department on campus has been asked to do its part to save money in effective ways.

Mitchell Muesham said all state schools have been asked to cut 7 percent of their current fiscal budget, and give it back to the state.

He said SHSU is currently cutting back on the operating side to protect the academic side.

“I think the leaders (of this university) should be commended,” Muesham said. “This is a very difficult time we’re going through, and their protecting the academic side as best they can.”

Richard Ward, dean of the criminal justice department, said the department had to cut 7 percent out of its annual budget this year. The dollar amount comes to roughly $100,000.

“It’s effecting the whole state – we’re just part of that,” Ward said.

Ward said his department is looking to cut costs through cutting equipment spending, supplies and new furniture allotment. The department has also delayed new hiring for faculty positions.

The criminal justice department is hopeful its summer curriculum will not be effected, and that the students in the department will not see a change in their classes. However, “we will always meet our budget,” Ward said.

SHSU’s history department is cutting its budget by 10 percent, mainly by limiting the purchase of supplies.

James Olson, history chair, said the department has been asked to save roughly $2,200.

“Fortunately for the history department, we received a $800,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education, so we’ll be able to fund a regular summer program,” Olson said.

However, Olson said the grant is meant to be used to supplement teachers’ salaries due to a new program implemented this summer. High school teachers will be trained at SHSU over the summer, and the history department professors will be the teaching them new skills.

Because of this, a limited staff will be available for college courses, and Olson said some classes will more than likely be cut.

Ben Gillespie, chair of the geography department, said he has cut a lot of its budget by limiting the purchasing of supplies.

“We try not to get anything unless it’s absolutely necessary,” Gillespie said.

Gillespie also said the geography department was asked to reduce summer faculty, leaving the department no choice but to cut two of three classes from the curriculum by May.

Gillespie said he feels lucky that no one has lost their job due to budget cuts.

SHSU’s school of communication cut 10 percent of its budget, bringing savings to roughly $12,100.

J.D. Ragsdale, communications chair, said “nobody wins in a budget cut,” and had to save money with the best interests of the students in mind.

The school of communications cut three classes from the summer curriculum this year, two of which were internship classes.

Ragsdale said he felt comfortable with the cut

“Almost no other university requires an internship (in communications) for graduation,” Ragsdale said. “We knew we’d be eventually phasing that out.”

Ragsdale said those seniors who were depending on the internship to graduate in August will be allowed to substitute an approved class for credit toward their degree.

For more information on budget cuts, summer school curriculum or pending summer graduation, contact an advisor or the appropriate chair of the class’ college.

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