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.