A&M Budget Crunching Continues; Regents Meet Thursday

Budget season is in full swing, and in just three days, Texas A&M's College Station campus will present its plan for the next year to the Board of Regents.

The board called on A&M's interim president, Bowen Loftin, to cut $20 million from its budget. The full plan will be laid out at the meetings set to begin Thursday, but as first steps, Loftin asked each department to set aside money to fund a two-percent merit increase for 2011.

Personnel changes in the president's office by Loftin are reported to have saved about $800,000. That included the elimination of one of the two executive vice presidential positions, a post vacated by H. Russell Cross following the resignation of A&M President Elsa Murano.

Also eliminated were an executive assistant to the president position, as well as the vice president for institution advancement.

The university is continuing to look at shared services opportunities with the System and other schools. Regents put major emphasis on the sharing at its last meeting in June.

Loftin told the Aggie community the cuts would come in areas where the academic quality and experience for students would not be sacrificed.

"Several task forces, with strong university representation, have been established to take a comprehensive look at many non-academic areas," Loftin said in June. "However, there are several critical areas that will not be subject to negotiation: research compliance, safety and security, and athletic compliance. Those areas are simply too vital to the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff; to our research enterprise; and our university’s overall reputation."

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