ERIC Number: ED478591
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2003-Jun
Budget Choices, Policy Decisions: Challenges Facing Virginia's Four-Year Colleges and Universities in the Midst of a Budget Crisis. A SCHEV White Paper.
Virginia State Council of Higher Education, Richmond.
This study examined the potential consequences of reductions in the fiscal support of 4-year public colleges and universities in general and in Virginia in particular from the perspective of academic officers. In 2002, a qualitative case study was initiated in conjunction with the chief academic officers of Virginia's 15 4-year public colleges and universities. The data from interviews, correspondence, and surveys were used to assess the institutional perspective relative to the 2002 General Assembly appropriation reductions and the October 2002 budget cuts. Because the timing of the diminished funding did not correspond with academic planning cycles and other factors, comparative quantitative data reflecting the budget impact will not be available until, at the earliest, the end of academic year 2003-2004. However, early data collection suggests the concerns of academic officers expressed in this study were well founded. Academic officers anticipated that students would experience significant direct and indirect costs associated with Virginia's fiscal crisis, especially reductions in academic support services and larger classes. Fewer faculty available for advising and reductions in services such as library hours were also expected. Institutions were apprehensive about the influence of economic uncertainly and reductions in research support on their ability to retain professors, since faculty evaluations are heavily reliant on research productivity. Academic officers indicated that the public 4-year institutions vary widely in their ability to sustain operations through the current economic crisis. Observations from this study present compelling evidence of potential damage to Virginia's higher education system. Disadvantaged students in particular will be adversely affected by budget cuts. (Contains 3 tables and 50 references.) (SLD)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Virginia State Council of Higher Education, Richmond.