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Monday, April 22, 2024

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' ,4 million accruing debt will be gone within two years, according to a CLAS official.

By making budget cuts across the college, Joe Glover, CLAS interim dean, has reduced the current fiscal year's debt to about ,1 million.

This fiscal year spans from 2007 to 2008.

Glover said he anticipates that by the 2008 to 2009 fiscal year, the college will be back in the black.

"We have watched every penny going in and out," Glover said in a phone interview Thursday.

Along with the calculated hiring of new faculty, Glover said CLAS has set aside funds, cut down on its financial commitments and reduced its operating budget by ,2 million for this year, which comes from state funds.

Faculty salaries in CLAS make up roughly 85 percent of the allotted ,100 million budget for the year, he said.

Glover said he estimates about 36 members of the CLAS faculty would retire this year.

Though he said he is unsure how many positions will be refilled, he will only hire new faculty members in areas of strategic importance.

Although Glover acknowledges that CLAS has very generous private donors, he insisted none of the money given has helped the college overcome its financial woes, saying the reductions were because of budget cuts alone.

"[Donors] give their money to enhance the college," Glover said.

A ,6 million debt was first discovered summer 2006, but UF immediately paid it off with its rainy-day funds.

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The ,4 million had accounted for 2007's upcoming expenses.

In the past, it was speculated that CLAS plummeted deep into the red because of poor financial planning.

"My opinion, very simply, is that the college spent more money than it had," Glover said.

According to Alligator archives, Neil Sullivan, former CLAS dean, said officials would draw up each year's budget before knowing how much money would be allotted.

Glover said this would no longer be a problem in the college.

"That is certainly not the practice that I am following," he said.

Glover said there are no spreadsheets or specific numbers on paper to reference.

"It's pretty much in my head and my fiscal manager's head," he said. "We need to maintain our fiscal discipline for this year, provided the state doesn't do any callbacks."

Glover elected to abandon Sullivan's Five-Year Plan in January 2007.

UF Provost Janie Fouke said UF would start advertising for some positions this semester so CLAS could begin its interviewing process in spring 2008.

Fouke also said she is working with Student Government officials to determine where faculty positions are needed the most.

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