College Senate addresses budget deficit

Sweeping cuts to every department may be coming to Buffalo State, according to a report given by vice president of finance and management Michael Levine on Friday.

Levine gave the report at Friday’s College Senate meeting. The school is looking at a $3.2 million projected deficit, he said.

“We’re going to establish a campus budget that addresses half of the projected $3.2 million deficit for this year,” he said.

Buffalo State is projected to spend around $84.7 million for this year, Levine said. To address half of the deficit, the school plans on putting a budget out for around $83.1 million.

According to the report, all programs will see a reduction in funding, to get the budget down to $83.1 million.

“It’s really the only way we could do it,” Levine said. “We don’t have a strategic plan in place that allows us to differentiate cuts, so we had to do this across the board.”

Several reasons are behind the budget deficit, including declining enrollment numbers, Levine said. A committee is looking into how to stabilize and boost enrollment.

There are some issues with Levine’s report, said chair of the budget staff and allocations committee Ted Schmidt.

“There are other ways to go through this process,” he said. “We need to think about those alternatives as well.”

There are funds available to lessen the blow of the possible cuts, Schmidt said. Stabilizing enrollment is the first step.

“If we can do that, we’re still getting tuition increases the next two years,” he said.

There should be cuts, Schmidt said, but he disagrees on how the cuts would be carried out.

“We hear a lot of talk about evaluating the academic side of the institution,” Schmidt said, “but maybe we should look at how we’re administered, how we organize.”

In other senate news:

Assistant professor Keith Schmidli passed away on Sept. 25, and was eulogized by Wendy Paterson, dean of the school of education.

“Dr. Schmidli was a much loved and respected teacher,” she said. “His many heart-broken students join us in mourning his loss.”

Michael Canfield can be reached by email at [email protected].