STATE OF ECU: Harsh Realities With Possible Budget Cuts

East Carolina University faces the possibility of $60 million in cuts, something the chancellor says could cut the university to the core.

Chancellor Steve Ballard gave his state of the university address Wednesday to staff, faculty and students. "$60 million in cuts is huge and this is the fourth year of base budget cuts," said Ballard.

The $60 million is about twenty percent of the school's state funding, and is the worst case scenario Ballard had to present. "I am aware it's inevitable if it gets to $60 million," said Ballard. "We're going to hope the legislature can find some ways around that, but if it's that much money, we'll certainly have to lose some programs and consolidate some services that will affect students."

The possibilities include faculty job losses, less courses, increase in class-size and higher tuition rates.

For freshman Taylor Lundsford, who's raised by a single parent, she's doing what see can to pay for college and to graduate in four years. "This year I had a course I need for my major and there were only four classes, they were all closed, and I didn't get into it until the next week after classes had already started, so I didn't know what was going on in the first couple days when I was in there," said Lundsford.

Ballard says every program chair will have to dig deep to find savings in order to preserve jobs and the quality of education for students.

Faculty senate chairwoman Dr. Marianne Walker says no one wants to be left in the dark when it comes to their jobs. "I think what the faculty want to know is that they have a voice, that there are ways that they can look from within and that they can be hard in terms of where they feel so savings could be realized," said Walker.

ECU operates on a $739 million budget.

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  • by US-First Location: Greenville on Feb 9, 2011 at 09:09 PM
    I'll make this a plain and simple as I can. The building that is currently going on at ECU is the result of funding and budgets long since gone. In fact, a majority of you voted for a lot of this funding 5 years ago. It actually takes this long for the process to get moving. Once the money is allocated, meaning it went through all the proper screening and over-site checks it is then locked for that project, whatever it is. Once again the building you are seeing now at ECU was payed for long ago. Because of the last 3-4 years of economic problems you will see that ECU will go through several dry years in terms of infrastructure. Salaries are not the same. They react to the current conditions. That is why there has been more hiring freezes each of the past 3 years and no Merit or cost of living raises except to keep particularly valuable individuals from leaving. Eventually hiring will continue, raises will come but there will be no building!
  • by fed up Location: greenville on Feb 4, 2011 at 07:50 AM
    to anouymous on feb 2 at 8:06pm, the state employees have had their share of cuts in pay. we have not had a raise in 4 years and the cost of living is going up. how do you think we can make it if our pay is cut again. we are not the only ones that should help balance the budget of NC all residents should help out. and i agree that anyone making over $100,000.00 should help out more but if you make under that then leave us alone it is hard enough to make ends meet now.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 4, 2011 at 05:17 AM
    This is reality, at every level, local, state and national the goal is to spend as much as you can as fast as you can. Most of the money decision makers are at the end of their career or close to it, so their decisions do not affect them. Not held accountable, It is call empire building on the backs of the tax payers.
  • by Anon Location: ENC on Feb 3, 2011 at 12:49 PM
    No wonder there are so many negative comments about the low standards of academics at ECU. Apparently only those who just got by, and took the 5 year plan at that, are posting on this topic. How anyone can attend a university, claim to have graduated, and NOT know that the athletic programs are pretty much self sustaining. Want to do some good, get out the university catalog and see what useless classes are offered to attract the party folks and keep them just barely able to remain in school. SO, no more ignorant remarks about cutting athletic programs !!!
  • by Anonymous on Feb 3, 2011 at 11:41 AM
    this is what happens when you max out your credit cards and borrow from relatives, like the present and past administrations in raleigh have done. time to pay the piper.
  • by Concerned Tax Payer Location: Greenville, NC on Feb 3, 2011 at 11:39 AM
    They might want to look at the inflated salaries of current workers at ECU. It is a sad situation when you have people leaving for-profit companies for pay increases at a state job. Reckless spending by our state has to stop, one way or the other.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 3, 2011 at 10:59 AM
    they can spin it anyway they want, careless and reckless spending of other peoples money,,borderline stupidity.
  • by Anonymous on Feb 3, 2011 at 10:52 AM
    Can we ask Virginia tech for 100k back.
  • by Jay Location: Williamston on Feb 3, 2011 at 10:43 AM
    ECU's Material Management and Fiance Dept. needs to start accepting the best economic decision on all the bids they put out. They pick the vendor based on politics and back scratching. I think the state auditor should look into this fact and they will find millions of mispent money.
  • by Kane on Feb 3, 2011 at 10:12 AM
    I have said this before: Yes, there is SOME money that goes to athletics that comes from the states. But the VAST majority of the funding comes from donors. Besides, whether people like it or not, ECU athletics draws people to Greenville and when they are here they pump money into the economy.

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