March 15, 2010
Higher Education: Cuts must be made up in future (SLC Tribune)
That sigh of relief you heard last week probably came from administrators at Utah’s colleges and universities after the Legislature wrapped up its 2010 session and adopted a budget for the 2011 fiscal year.
Higher education was not spared in the budget-trimming frenzy by any means. Institutions of higher learning were whacked 12.5 percent, or about $100 million, on top of an 8.5 percent cut for the current fiscal year. But there had been talk earlier in the session about cuts reaching 22 percent. Fortunately, that didn’t happen.
Still, double-digit tuition increases are probable to help colleges and universities meet the education needs of record numbers of students. Enrollments increased an average of 9.5 percent — 13,000 additional students — this semester. Those numbers are not expected to decline in the fall, at least partly due to Utah’s 6.8 percent unemployment rate. People who have lost jobs or are hunting for new ones often turn to colleges for further training or retraining.