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The Florida Legislature recently approved the state’s budget for the upcoming 2012-13 fiscal year. The budget now heads to Governor Rick Scott for his approval or veto.

If Governor Scott approves the budget, UCF will receive a non-recurring $52.6 million reduction in our base budget beginning July 1. A reduction of this magnitude will, of course, manifestly impact our educational, research, and service missions.

It is also important to view this cut as part of an ongoing trend. Including this cut, UCF’s state base budget has been reduced 49 percent, or $144 million, since 2007.

As we move forward, our goals for managing budget cuts will remain the same: to preserve the university’s core educational, research, and service programs and limit the impact on our students as much as possible. However, this cut will impact all aspects of the university.

What This Means for UCF

We are reviewing all possible ways to address this budget cut. In addition, vice presidents and deans are examining their budgets to find ways to save money.

Vice presidents and deans will be responsible for making the best decisions for their areas. Options include delaying projects, postponing hiring new staff and faculty members, and taking other cost-saving measures.

UCF also will request authority for a 15 percent tuition increase to help offset the state cut. Asking students and their families to pay more is difficult but ultimately necessary in light of repeated state-mandated budget cuts.

I will spend the next few weeks working with the university leadership team to finalize our plan to manage the anticipated $52.6 million cut for the 2012-13 fiscal year. Once that plan is complete, I will share with you additional details about how we will address the budget cut.

Sadly, budget cuts have cast a shadow on higher education in Florida the past few years. What brightens our future is that UCF is home to so many talented, hard-working, and dedicated staff and faculty members.

Your unwavering commitment to our students and to each other has allowed UCF to prosper despite a difficult economy. Thank you for everything you do for our students, our university, and our community.