Clemson University Announces Budget-Cut Strategy

November 13, 2008

CLEMSON, SC – November 13, 2008 – On the heels of three consecutive budget cuts that have reduced its current state appropriation to about what it was in 1997, Clemson University has announced a budget strategy that includes a five-day mandatory furlough of faculty and staff, delay of planned construction projects and direct contributions of funding from athletics, housing and other auxiliary programs.

Clemson President James F. Barker said the university also is freezing hiring except in critical areas, cutting non-essential temporary positions and eliminating non-essential travel. Barker said most of these measures are aimed at solving the immediate crisis, and pledged that long-term solutions will be more strategic measures that protect core academic programs and minimize impact on students.

“It is regrettable that we have to take actions that directly impact the Clemson family, but the severity of the budget cuts leave us with no choice,” he said. “Clemson is already a lean operation, and we had implemented substantial internal reallocations earlier this year to hold down tuition, which left us with few options to handle a cut of this magnitude.”

Barker said with the latest cuts, Clemson’s educational funding per student, adjusted for inflation, is 40 percent less than it was in 1973.

Construction of a new home for the Academic Success Center, an innovation center and a life-sciences building have been put on hold, and plans to build an information-technology facility and start a major core campus redevelopment project have been deferred indefinitely. Officials also are planning an early-retirement program for positions with Public Service Activities (PSA) funding.

Some of the measures generate one-time dollars, which must be replaced by permanent funding before the start of the next fiscal year.

Long-term actions are likely to include consolidating programs, restructuring to reduce administrative costs, making more programs self-supporting and developing strategies to increase revenue from summer school, camps, conferences and other programs.

Barker also said Clemson plans to ask the legislature for regulatory relief to help the university operate more efficiently and increase opportunities to generate revenue.

Barker said he will appoint several task forces to further explore many of the ideas for saving money or generating more revenue that have been suggested by faculty and staff.

“The response from campus has been inspiring,” Barker said. “I have seen Clemson’s spirit, determination and sense of community rise to the top. Because of that spirit, I do believe we can emerge from this crisis as a stronger, more focused university.”