Chantal M. Lovell, Staff Writer
Posted: 02/25/2010 05:44:44 PM PST

REDLANDS – Budget cuts and possibly layoffs loom in the near future for the University of Redlands.

The university is beginning a plan to close a $13 million deficit, said UR president Stuart Dorsey. The amount is equivalent to about 10 percent of the school’s operating budget, and is a “persistent structural” shortfall.

“Structural means that even when the economy recovers, we’re still going to have that,” Dorsey said. “It’s not a result of the economy, but of the structure and will continue to be a long-term budget deficit.”

The deficit is recent, but the university did cut non-personnel budgets by 10 percent in May while planning the 2009-2010 budget. They also froze salary increases, reduced the retirement contribution rate, adjusted health benefit premiums and eliminated positions.

In an e-mail sent to faculty, staff and students Tuesday, Dorsey explained that if the reduction plan goes as expected, the deficit will be eliminated by 2014.

“The first step toward creating a sustainable financial model is recognizing that there is a large structural deficit that we cannot ignore,” Dorsey wrote. “I am certain that the University can and will come through this test strong and poised for growth, but that will not happen if we delay hard decisions or make overly optimistic enrollment and revenue assumptions.”

Dorsey said the university will permanently reduce expenditures between $6 and $7 million.

“This will require reducing the number of faculty in the college through reassignments, retirements and, I am sorry to say, eliminating the positions of some non-tenured and contract faculty,” Dorsey wrote. “Program elimination is also is an option under consideration.”

No decisions have been made about layoffs yet, Dorsey said, but he university is in that process now.

Last year, the university eliminated 42 staff and administrator positions, including 28 layoffs, wrote communications manager Katie Ismael.

The university plans to eliminate the remainder of the deficit by increasing enrollment and revenues.

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