USM-H faces 1% funding cut

July 31, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- As part of nearly $18 million in cuts to the University System of Maryland, the Hagerstown education center is losing about 1 percent of its budget, education officials said Friday.

C. David Warner III, executive director of the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown, said the cut to the center was a little more than $18,000.

Warner expects to make up some of the loss by reducing the travel budget and buying fewer supplies. The center also will use money from its fuel reserve, which was based on higher gas prices, he said.

The USM-H budget is about $1.9 million.

The USM-H cuts are tiny compared to reductions throughout the system.

Chancellor William E. "Brit" Kirwan said 175 jobs are being eliminated.

On July 22, the Maryland Board of Public Works cut about $280 million from the state budget to help fill a projected deficit for the coming year.


The University System of Maryland was directed to cut about $17.7 million.

The system also had to transfer $20 million of its fund balance, or 3.5 percent, back to the state's general fund.

Kirwan said the reductions are being spread throughout the university system. He called the cut to the Hagerstown center "very modest."

The last few budgetary years have been bumpy for the four-year-old Hagerstown center, which offers graduate, undergraduate and noncredit classes through six University System schools.

During the 2009 Maryland General Assembly session, a funding tug of war broke out for the second straight year.

Also for the second straight year, the center avoided major cuts. It ended the 2009 legislative session with full funding of $2.03 million for fiscal year 2010.

Then, cuts throughout the University System dropped the USM-H budget to $1.89 million.

Warner said the Hagerstown center wasn't hurt too much by the latest cuts, but added, "I have to say I am worried about the next round."

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