NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (AP) Christopher Newport University began its spring semester this week without three-quarters of its part-time faculty.
Some other colleges, still awaiting the final word on impending budget reductions, have not cut part-time faculty, but have frozen hiring or taken other steps to save money.
Former Gov. James S. Gilmore III proposed 2 percent cuts at state colleges this school year and 6 percent cuts each of the next two years to help counteract $1-billion-a-year projected shortfalls.
Gov. Mark R. Warner, in his address to the General Assembly Monday night, said he wants to increase Mr. Gilmore’s ordered cuts to 3 percent immediately. The cuts would increase to 7 percent for fiscal 2003 and to 8 percent for fiscal 2004, compared with 6 percent cuts Mr. Gilmore had wanted. Mr. Warner’s proposal must be approved by the General Assembly.
Donald J. Finley, executive director of the Virginia Business Higher Education Council, which has lobbied for more money for colleges, said schools will find it hard to avoid cutting part-time instructors and perhaps laying off full-time employees.
“You’re at a level of reductions that doesn’t require you to just stop buying library books or postponing repairs to your buildings,” Mr. Finley said. “It requires you to go into your personnel budget.”
CNU in Newport News let go about 130 of 170 part-time, or adjunct, instructors to save $250,000, Provost Robert D. Doane said. Since roughly 90 percent of the budget goes to personnel, Mr. Doane said he had no alternative.
“If I didn’t do that, I would be looking at layoffs and pay cuts,” he said.
Old Dominion University’s administrators will submit 2 percent cut plans this week. In academics, that won’t include cutting part-time teachers, acting Provost David R. Hager said.
“For us, it’s not a reasonable strategy,” Mr. Hager said. Next year, the Norfolk school may have to rely more on adjunct professors and not fill full-time openings, he said.
The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg has not cut part-time faculty but has frozen hiring and limited expenditures for the remainder of the fiscal year ending June 30, college officials said.
In a memo to school personnel last month, W&M President Timothy J. Sullivan said the college is preparing to absorb an estimated 5 percent budget cut during the current fiscal year.
The University of Virginia in Charlottesville has taken no university-wide action yet, Louise Dudley, assistant vice president for university relations, said yesterday.
In the fall, the university’s schools of arts and sciences, architecture and education froze faculty hiring, Miss Dudley said. In addition, other departments may be keeping positions vacant and cutting back discretionary expenses, she said.
At Tidewater Community College, where 53 percent of all credit hours are taught by part-time instructors, “it wouldn’t make sense to make any budget analysis along those lines,” President Deborah M. DiCroce said.
She said the college would cover a 2 percent cut, about $1 million, primarily by delaying computer upgrades and audiovisual purchases. But if the budget cuts escalate in the next two years, Miss DiCroce said, they could touch part-timers.