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ERIC Number: EJ847102
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-May-29
Pages: 1
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0009-5982
Budget Cuts Cast Shadow over Florida's Universities
Fain, Paul
Chronicle of Higher Education, v55 n38 pA1 May 2009
While colleges across the nation are coping with the recession, public universities in Florida, a state with finances that resemble a Ponzi scheme, have spent years doing without. The recession hit Florida early, and in a big way. Without an income tax, state government has long depended on property and sales taxes. As real estate and tourism have declined, the state's annual revenue has shed more than $12-billion from a 2006 peak of $74-billion. But Florida's conservative politicians have remained steadfast in refusing new taxes. They also fought to keep the university system's tuition at rock-bottom levels. The result for the state's 11 public universities has been cutbacks in state money, which have led to gutted programs, faculty departures, low salaries for professors, and the nation's highest student-to-faculty ratio. University leaders wonder how much longer Florida's universities will have to run on fumes. The budget passed by the Legislature this month was better than many had feared. Dropped were a proposed 25-percent reduction in the state's higher-education contribution and across-the-board salary cuts for university employees. The approved reduction of 10.5 percent, or $207-million, will be partially offset by $159-million in federal stimulus money. And lawmakers finally budged on allowing tuition increases, which will bring in new revenue. But stimulus money is only a temporary fix, and economists say the state's finances remain fundamentally flawed. Barring a tax overhaul or a serious economic recovery, a few more lean years could mean a slide into mediocrity for the state's top universities.
Chronicle of Higher Education. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-728-2803; e-mail: circulation@chronicle.com; Web site: http://chronicle.com/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida