UW may have 400 fewer employees because of budget woes



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LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — The University of Wyoming may have as many as 400 fewer employees after the university completes budget cuts and other funding changes over the next couple of years, UW President Laurie Nichols said.

The state's only public, four-year university must account for the loss of $35 million in state aid and reallocate an additional $6 million from within its budget for utilities and improvements to its accounting system for a total of $41 million.

Nichols provided an update about the budget to UW trustees meeting in Saratoga this week, according to the Laramie Boomerang (http://bit.ly/2aKFtKC ).

In order to meet the $41 million, Nichols has outlined a plan that includes eliminating vacant positions, asking faculty to do more classroom instruction, offering early retirement incentives and trimming benefit expenses.

For perspective, 46 percent of the employees at UW are categorized as staff while 32 percent are faculty. However, 44 percent of total UW wages go to faculty wages and 31 percent to staff.

The Financial Crisis Advisory Committee, chaired by Steven Bieber, director of the Wyoming Survey and Analysis Center, is searching for ways to reduce the 2018 budget.

While the cuts will put a large strain on UW, Bieber said the university would carry on.

"We can be 400 positions down, my guess is 80 faculty, and I'm not talking retirements or resignations," he said. "Can the university survive that? My answer is absolutely yes. But we are definitely on the edge. If we restructure the university in any fashion and streamline it, then we could accommodate this more. But with our current construction, we are currently close to the edge."

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Information from: Laramie Boomerang, http://www.laramieboomerang.com

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