GA universities face $300 million in possible cuts

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - There is bad news for the 35 colleges and universities in the state of Georgia.

Representatives from the schools met Wednesday at the Capitol to discuss plans for slashing $300 million from the budget.

State Senator Seth Harp told News Leader 9, "If you recall last week when we talked to the chancellor he said to get the 300 million dollars we would have to raise tuition 77%  We have NO intention of raising tuition 77%."

In response to a request from the state legislature to cut 300 million dollars in the next academic year,  the University System of Georgia released a 'what if' plan that included closing satellite campuses and shortening semesters, another option is to cut salaries.

 "No one likes to cut salaries, but again we had proposed a fair methodology that would try to put the burden most heavily on the higher income people," explains Senator Harp.

Senator Harp said CSU's President came up with one of the more conservative proposals lawmakers heard. The plan included faculty cuts and program closings.

But, that isn't easing the fears of students.

Matt Stacks is a sophomore at CSU and he admitted, "Money is always tight for college students."

Another student, Lisa Chandley, is worried as well, "I just wonder how they're going to be able to deliver higher education with those kinds of cuts."

Students from all over the state have voiced their opinion about the cuts. As soon as the proposals were announced letters to Georgia senators were mailed out and Facebook groups were created.

Stacks said, "I joined a few face book groups and it's really vocal. Everybody does not like this, they think that it's a really stupid response to try and get rid of all the money from the university system."

Senator Harp told News Leader Nine it is up to the Regents to make the hard decisions. John Lester, representative for CSU, says it is a waiting game to see what comes out of the State budget and how much they will have to cut.

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