An order from Governor Rick Perry, Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst and House Speaker Tom Craddick has forced state agencies to slash seven percent from their budgets. The cuts would result in an estimated 700 million dollar savings statewide. The letter recommends layoffs, hiring freezes, stopping travel, and limiting purchases. So now, Texas Tech University is working on a plan to make the cuts as painless as possible.
But for students that may not be the case. "You need to be flexible to the extent that you allow those people who manage different areas to take cuts where they think they'll do the least harm," says Texas Tech Interim President, Dr. Donald Haragan. Haragan says they have some serious work cut out for them. The university will have to chop roughly 12.5 million dollars from it's budget.
"Our strategy is really to try to protect our academic mission," says Haragan. But in light of the cuts, tuition will most likely go up next year. For example, undergrad students currently pay 88 dollars per credit hour. According to a state mandate already in place, tuition is going up two dollars a semester credit hour... Then university's have the option of adding another 2 dollars bringing the total to 92 dollars per credit hour.
"Given the situation that the university finds themselves in right now, I think there's no doubt the university will at least do that," says Haragan. With this in mind, Haragan still hopes to keep enrollment up. "We certainly don't want to price Texas Tech out of the range of students so we'll be looking at scholarships, financial aid, any way we can to find a way to offset the increased cost to the students."
Potential areas for other cutbacks at Tech include administrative costs, not filling vacancies, cuts in summer school and eliminating certain programs. Haragan says by next week..Texas Tech officials will know for sure where and when these cuts will take place. Now it's important to mention that this will affect most state agencies including the Department of Agriculture, the Railroad Commission, Texas Education Agency and the Comptrollers office.