Regents redirect funding Professional schools get boost at UMAB

November 20, 1991|By Patricia Meisol

A panel of University of Maryland regents acted yesterday to restore money for 30 faculty and 675 students in the schools of law and social work in Baltimore next fall. The schools were slated for major reductions in a 1993 budget proposal that passed earlier.

At the behest of Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg, the regents' finance committee approved a plan to redirect $3 million from building repairs, merit pay raises and an enhancement plan for the medical school to support already employed faculty and existing academic programs on the professional schools campus.

The prospect of cutting by half the number of students admitted to those professional schools and reducing the faculty by one-third led the president of the University of Maryland at Baltimore to request permission to move the money to academic programs.

"We're moving and I am pleased," UMAB President Errol L. Reese said yesterday. He added that the change was ironic since he had campaigned to win extra money for the medical school in the first place. The heads of all six professional schools on campus backed his decision to sustain basic programs in law and social work. The medical school improvements could be accomplished when the economy picks up, the president said.

The decision to move money to academics came after Sen. Barbara A. Hoffman, D-Baltimore, warned that the governor or General Assembly would cut extras not directed to academic programs.

UMAB was hardest hit in the original budget, but all campuses arenow being permitted to move money from buildings and other programs to academics.

Chancellor Langenberg said $10.2 million now slated for buildings, pay increases and enhancements would be reallocated to more fundamental academic programs at campuses throughout the university system. He said the move was worked out last week with officials of the Department of Budget and Fiscal Planning, which is reviewing the university's $1.5 billion budget in advance of helping Gov. William Donald Schaefer make recommendations to the General Assembly.

Also yesterday, the regents authorized the chancellor to issue up to $75 million in bonds for academic buildings and for auxiliary buildings such as dorms, parking garages and dining halls that could further squeeze the 1993 budgets of many campuses.

Auxiliary buildings are paid for by users -- through parking fees from students and faculty or housing charges from students, for instance. The regents' finance panel authorized $35 million worth of bonds for this purpose yesterday.

The $40 million in academic building bonds the regents also approved are backed by student tuition. The money would be used to build an addition to the Computer Science and Space Sciences buildings at the University of Maryland College Park; an addition to the library at the University of Maryland Baltimore County and a research building for the Center for Environmental and Estuarine Studies. All the projects were approved by the General Assembly.

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