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New Mexico says cut VPs . . . cut pay

By James Monteleone
Journal Staff Writer
University of New Mexico regents say an initial budget proposal for 2012 doesn’t do enough to cut vice presidents and executive pay for administrators.
The regent finance committee on Monday saw a first draft of next year’s budget recommendations, which outline a $12 million shortfall beyond cuts already proposed through months of cost-containment meetings.
If no additional cuts are found, the budget would mean a 16 percent tuition increase for students next year, according to the data.
But regents are telling administrators to go back to the drawing board because the recommendations do not cut any of the university’s 28 executive vice presidents, vice presidents and associate vice presidents.
“I think we put the vice presidents on the table,” Regent Don Chalmers said. “I think, to show good leadership, we need to put executive salaries on the table.”
He said the proposal just delays needed reductions for another year. Despite the budget crisis, the proposal outlines $11.8 million in new spending — toward things such as retirement contributions, utility bills and faculty salaries — while proposing $7.3 million in cuts. To moderate tuition increases, the budget must cut more than it proposes to spend, he said.
Regents Jamie Koch and Gene Gallegos also said they expect to see additional administrative cuts.
But UNM doesn’t have much time to act. All but two vice presidents and associate vice presidents have contracts that expire in July. An administrator of less than five years must receive notice before April 1 if his or her contract will not be renewed, according to UNM policy. Administrators who have worked more than five years must have received notice before Feb. 1. Otherwise, contracts are extended into the next budget year. That notice will be part of the administration’s review of the regent recommendations, UNM spokeswoman Susan McKinsey said.
“We’re going to be looking at all the scenarios that the regents have suggested,” she said. “What form that takes, I can’t say right now. But all those questions they’re raising have got to be answered.”
The early budget, which has taken into account recommendations from three staff and faculty task forces, suggests weaning some non-academic funding.
That would include a $385,000 cut to athletics, which receives $1.2 million each year from the instructional budget. Other cuts would include a $1.2 million reduction to the university foundation and a $300,000 cut by eliminating faculty and staff tuition for continuing education courses.
The proposal recommends increased spending on faculty, offering more money for things like sabbaticals and faculty promotions.
The three regents insisted new administrative cuts be identified before the budget proposal is brought back to them.


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