UM regents approve '92 budget Administrators say cuts are too deep

September 28, 1991|By Sandy Banisky

With an appeal to the General Assembly for immediate financial help, the University of Maryland Board of Regents approved a $1.5 billion budget yesterday, supported in part by a 16 percent tuition increase for next fall.

Because of Maryland's continuing struggle with budget deficits, the state contribution to the 11-campus university system has been cut for the third straight year. Approval of the sharp tuition increase, which comes just a month after the regents imposed a one-time-only 15 percent surcharge for the spring semester, is meant to replace some of the state funds in the 1992-1993 school year.

At the urging of students, the regents voted to call the tuition boost a surcharge and to review it next year.

Margaret Alton, a member of the board of regents, called on the General Assembly to convene a special session, raise taxes and increase revenues for the university system.

"It is unconscionable for them not to have a special session, the sooner the better," she said.

But in Annapolis, senators on the Budget and Taxation Committee were sending the regents a letter telling the university system to cut administration even more and rethink spending priorities before raising tuition.

"They want to talk to us, I understand," said Sen. Barbara A. Hoffman, D-Baltimore, a budget committee member. "Well, guess what. We want to talk to them."

The regents, however, said the system has absorbed as many budget cuts as it can.

University of Maryland Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg declared the system's finances to be in "a state of crisis." He said the spending limits mean "programs will be streamlined. People will be laid off. And our system institutions will charge substantially higher prices to our students," Dr. Langenberg said.

Even that, he said, will not be enough to save the quality of the universities unless the legislature provides more funds quickly.

Because of the budget cuts, administrators are now running the university campuses with about the same amount of operating dollars they had available in 1987.

One by one, campus presidents stood to warn the regents that the budget reductions are reaching a dangerously deep level.

"The risk is the faculty will find that intolerable," said Michael K. Hooker, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County. "It is the best faculty we lose first."

When faculty leave, said William E. Kirwan, president of the University of Maryland at College Park, the best students follow. "Do we care in Maryland?" he asked.

The budget approved yesterday cuts more than 470 positions from the system's employment rolls. Anne Moultrie, a spokeswoman for the system, said those jobs come from administration and support services.

"Now we're at a point where we have to gouge the academic quality," said Thomas E. Bellavance, president of Salisbury State University. "Because there's nothing else to take."

Senator Hoffman, however, said the regents did not understand that the system's administration can be cut further.

"The administrative bureaucracy should be impacted, not just the students," Ms. Hoffman said. "Considering we're all in this leaky boat of a fiscal crisis together, we have tospend smarter. But I think they're still doing business the old way.

"They are in crisis," Ms. Hoffman said. "But I think there's more they can do, rather than putting it on the backs of the students."

The budget approved yesterday will be sent on to the Department of Budget and Fiscal Planning for inclusion in the governor's budget.

UM tuition increase

Here are the annual in-state tuition and fees for 1992-93 passed by the University of Maryland regents yesterday, compared to this year's:

.. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..'91-'92 .. .. .. ..'92-'93

College Park .. .. .. .. .. .. . $2,573 .. .. .. .. $2,829

Bowie State .. .. .. .. .. .. ... 2,374 .. .. .. ... 2,516

Towson State .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 2,613 .. .. .. ... 2,828

UMES .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 2,346 .. .. .. ... 2,481

Frostburg State .. .. .. .. .. .. 2,247 .. .. .. ... 2,428

Coppin State .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 2,399 .. .. .. ... 2,545

U. of Baltimore .. .. .. .. .. .. 2,348 .. .. .. ... 2,582

Salisbury State .. .. .. .. .. .. 2,664 .. .. .. ... 2,786

UMBC .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 2,672 .. .. .. ... 2,910

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