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U. Florida To Cut 10 Percent From Budget At Governor's Request

This story was written by Thomas Stewart, Independent Florida Alligator

At the request of Gov. Charlie Crist, the University of Florida's 2009-2010 budget proposal will be 10 percent less than this year's budget.

As he did last year, Crist asked state agencies Thursday to make 10 percent cuts in their budget proposals for the next fiscal year, according to The Associated Press.

UF President Bernie Machen announced Crists request during his report at Thursdays Faculty Senate meeting.

Sterling Ivey, Crist's spokesman, told the AP that the requests do not mean budgets will definitely be cut by that amount. Instead, the proposals will give Crist an idea of where the cuts might fall before he makes his spending recommendations to the Florida Legislature.

I dont want you to be upset about that or worried, Machen told the faculty. We will go through the exercise of putting that together.

Machen said the real review of UFs budget would happen after the Legislatures Revenue Estimating Conference in November. If UF is forced to make deep cuts in the 20092010 budget, it may be better prepared this time thanks to a new report from the Senates Budget Council.

The report, requested by Machen, aims to craft a plan to deal more effectively with budget cuts, said David Quillen, the chairman of the council, after the meeting. The report looks at ways of making more focused cuts a change from the acrosstheboard strategy used to meet UFs last round of cuts and getting more faculty input, Quillen said.

He said the report also examines ways to increase revenue to alleviate some of the burden. Without a good plan, he said cuts would be difficult to make because much of the fat has been trimmed.

If we have to cut $25 million out of the budget, this place is gonna be a mess, Quillen said.

In other news, Machen told faculty that he will travel to Iran in November.

The Alligator reported in August that Machen accepted an invitation from the American Association of Universities to join other presidents from U.S. universities as a delegate to Iran. He said his trip depended on the political climate in Iran, and he wouldnt go if it were too dangerous, according to the article.

Also discussed at the meeting were graduation rates of NCAA athletes.

Jill Varnes, UFs NCAA faculty athletics representative, presented the results of an NCAA study that showed UF has a graduation rate of about 87 percent for its student-athletes.

According to the NCAA report, of all UFs sports teams, the football team had the lowest graduation rate of 68 percent. Nationally, almost 80 percent of Division I student-athletes who entered college in 2001 graduated.

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