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2011-2012 Budget Cuts

By Abbey Kaye Ritter
On October 20, 2011


Last year, Plymouth State University was required to cut 6% of their 2011-2012 budget as part of larger, statewide budget cuts toward New Hampshire public university funding that totaled $48.4 million.

Public universities were given the challenge of cutting excess money from their budgets. PSU's new budget totals $103 million, $13.4 million (13%) of which are state appropriated funds. Tuition and fees represent $55 million (75%). Though the majority of PSU funding comes from tuition, the budget cuts were significant and tasking to make.

According to Stephen Taksar, Vice President for Finance and Administration at PSU, cuts were made in regards to cell phone packages for employees (some university employees have previously been given packages for university related business), mileage packages, copying budgets, and other auxiliary costs. As these will not affect education, they were seen as viable opportunities to cut costs.

The cuts have, however, impacted students. Take one look at last year's tuition (resident, flat rate) of $7,650 as compared to this year's $9,110, and it is apparent that cuts have been made and tuition has risen in response. Taksar noted that positive adjustments have been made in response to the cuts, such as a larger investment in financial aid.

Taksar said, "We invested more dollars in financial aid in recognition of the higher cost of tuition." Financial aid investment went up by 28% this year.

The PSU campus may be concerned about these financial changes. When asked about the positive or negative effects of the budget cuts, Taksar responded, "That's a tough question to answer because our enrollment this fall was stable."

He conveyed the feeling that PSU has not seen any negative effects as of yet. Enrollment this year did not decline, with PSU even adding a new nursing program to its academic offerings.

"If enrollment had declined then I would have said that there was a direct effect." Currently, PSU appears to be operating as usual, with no apparent negative effects toward the quality of education offered.

While cuts were necessary to meet requirements set by the New Hampshire State Government, Taksar made it known that quality of education is always the most crucial and primary concern for PSU. "We are concerned about the future, relative to the price of education, the financial needs of our students and the ability to deliver cost effective education."

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