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SWT announces initial budget reduction strategies

Date released: 01/28/03

SAN MARCOS — Southwest Texas State University President Denise M. Trauth has announced a hiring freeze and travel restrictions in response to Gov. Rick Perry’s request that state agencies reduce budgets by 7 percent.

Effective immediately, all vacant SWT positions are to remain unfilled unless approved by the president. The freeze applies to both faculty and staff positions. For searches in progress, a hire may be completed only if an employment offer has already been made.

The travel freeze applies to all foreign and out-of-state travel through Aug. 31, 2003, with the exception of commitments already made by faculty or staff to give presentations or papers at conferences and group travel as part of an instructional or cultural program.

On Monday, the SWT President’s Cabinet adopted a set of basic principles to guide the university administration through the budget reduction process. Those principles include commitments to putting students first and protecting academic programs.

The cost reductions are in response to an estimated $9.9 billion Texas budget deficit. The university of 25,000 students employs 1,000 faculty members and 1,600 staff.

“This is a critical time for the state of Texas,” said Trauth. “We will be thorough and we will be systematic in finding ways we can contribute to solving the deficit situation. We will depend to a great extent on our campus community to help us find ways to save money. Those closest to the situation have the best ideas about how to provide services most cost effectively.”

Other measures the university will take include reductions in equipment purchases, consulting contracts and future construction projects. Each vice president has also been given cost-saving targets for other university operating budgets