Higher Education Cuts

By: Susan Bahorich
By: Susan Bahorich

When it rains, it pours. The state budget crunch is making times tough all over. Including here at JMU.

Tuesday night Gov. Mark Warner announced a more than 10-percent cut at the school.

"For the first year it means a reduction of almost $6-million, but it remains to be seen how it will affect faculty and staff. We will ask the board to approve a tuition increase for second semester," explains JMU President Dr. Linwood Rose.

That tuition increase could cost students anywhere from $150 to $300.

Students had another tuition jump earlier this year, and according to Rose this may not be the last of hikes if JMU wants to keep the faculty and staff they're used to.

Rose says, " We will definitely be able to maintain our full-time faculty and staff. The area that is uncertain at this point is our wage employment, our hourly employees- working all divisions of the university. And we of course are very dependent on these people. They make a big difference for us."

The difference could be made in Warner's cuts for the next fiscal year. He anticipates a rebound in the economy, but if the turn-around doesn't happen the government may have to dig deep for additional revenue.

"I don't think the kind of success we've had can be perpetuated by a funding base that is declining each year, and I hope we can make a compelling case to the General Assembly and have them improve the situation," says Dr. Rose.

The General Assembly doesn't convene until January.

But, a decision about tuition should be made in about three-weeks by the board of visitors.

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