Tennessee Tech reduced $6.5 million in expenses over the last two months to get within the operating budget necessary after state budget changes.
That’s below the $7.4 million the university had planned to cut. Chief Business and Fiscal Officer Dr. Claire Stinson said the difference was possible because of unspent funds from last year. Stinson said she and President Phil Oldham met with the five-year budget committee to look at possible reductions.
“We identified broad categories and potential vacant positions that we could reduce,” Stinson said. “The committee was looking at reductions to avoid impacting current permanent employees to the extent that it was possible to do so.”
Stinson said some $4.4 million of the reductions are permanent, meeting the leadership’s goal. That includes 21 vacant positions eliminated permanently. The university also freezed nine positions. Other job freezes came in adjunct faculty, Stinson said.
The budget decrease included $1.3 million in raises that had been planned. Governor Bill Lee and the legislature eliminated salary increased in the final fiscal year budget. During Tuesday afternoon’s Board of Trustees Meeting, President Phil Oldham said he hoped leadership could find a way to thank faculty and staff for their work during the pandemic.
“I hope we can pencil to paper on that because that’s where my heart is,” Oldham said.
Through COVID and the adjustments, Stinson said she believes the university stands in good fiscal shape.