Potential Budget Cuts Lead to Student Upset

The university has released a list of potential budget cuts for the years 2001-2003. The programs among those suggested for elimination are the Mountain Heritage Center Museum, the Math/ Science Network, the Mountain Resource Center, and the Mountain Aquaculture Center.

Several students are upset by the possibility of losing so many programs that have been a significant part of WCU.

Weaver Haney said, “I can’t believe they want to cut these programs. I support the Mountain Resource Center.”

Daniel Weger said, “I disagree with cutting any of these programs.”

Joe Innis said, “It seems a bit strange that the university has all this money to renovate old buildings, but not enough to keep the programs that have been such an important part of WCU.”

To answer this question, which many other students may also be asking, Chancellor Bardo spoke about the potential budget cuts at the General Faculty Meeting on Friday, April 27. Bardo said that unfortunately the money the university has to spend in different areas and programs comes from separate checking accounts, and that the money in one cannot be moved to another. For instance, the money in housing comes from student fees, and the money for salaries at WCU comes from the state, so they cannot be interchanged. The renovation money comes from the bond issue, voted on this past year.

Abe Weaver said about the potential losses to the university, “I think the priorities of this university are a bit off camber.”

The fact is that these are only potential budget cuts, and the North Carolina legislature is in the process of deciding what programs to eliminate at all the state universities. If enough students complain about the idea of losing some of these beneficial programs, there is a strong possibility that they will not be cut.

The chancellor and administrative staff of WCU are not responsible for the possible losses to the university. Chancellor Bardo said Friday that usually in these cases the state legislature asks for a certain percentage of reduction to a given state university, and they allow the chancellor and administration to make specific decisions which will do as little damage as possible.

This time the North Carolina legislature is allowing the chancellors and administrative staffs of the state’s universities to make recommendations, but the legislature will be making the final decisions.

Students who would like to let the North Carolina legislature know that any or all of these programs should not be eliminated, may contact the representatives for Jackson County. Representatives include: Robert C. Carpenter and Dan Robinson for the Senate and Marge Carpenter, R. Phillip Haire, and Roger West for the House.

You can look up who represents a specific county by going to http://www.google.com and typing in “North Carolina Legislature.” One of the sites this search will bring up is the NC government home page, where one of the options at the top of the page is “representation.” From there you can look up NC representatives by county.