ASU Budget Crunch Won't Impact Students

February 21, 2005 – Posted at 5:32 p.m. CST

JONESBORO -- ASU administrators are tighten the budget belt in hopes of ending the year with a balanced budget. A hiring freeze will go into effect at Arkansas State University if the college doesn't meet it's anticipated $2.7 million dollar budget shortfall by the end of the fiscal year. But what does that mean for students and teachers on campus?

"Our estimate was that we needed to slow down expenditures for this year to kind of put together a financial safety net of about $2 million dollars," said Jennus Burton, Vice President of Finance & Administration. The school is facing a 2.5% reduction in budget.

Departments must trim travel budgets, and a hiring review committee is trying to make the hiring freeze more of a frost.

"It was never our intent to not fill required positions, but it was our intent to slow down the filling of those that could wait until July of next year," said Burton. And as for students...they shouldn't feel the impact.

"Students are not effected at all," said Burton, "That is one of the things we wanted to protect against. We went to all of the operating units and said, you will not cancel classes, you will not delay any services that we provide for students."

But Burton admits things are looking better. "As of Monday morning, we've already achieved that $2 million dollar reduction. We're looking to achieve even more by the end of the year so we'll have a financial safety for the beginning of next year," said Burton.

ASU has about $4.7 million in its reserve funds.