State Cuts UVA Funding by 8%

More budget cuts are hitting UVA, Bryan McKenzie writes in the Progress, with the state cutting its funding by 8% and requiring university employees to take a day of unpaid leave next spring. Only something like 6% of UVA’s funding now comes from the state—awfully low for an ostensible state college—with this cut coming to about $7.7M. Gov. Tim Kaine’s budget reduction plan (2MB PDF) makes cuts across state government, including layoffs of nearly 600 employees, though none at the university. This is just the latest in a series of such cuts in the past year and a half. Though there have been no layoffs at UVA yet, there’s speculation among many employees that they’re coming.

Disclosure: I’m a UVA employee though, oddly, not a state employee.

21 thoughts on “State Cuts UVA Funding by 8%”

  1. So we’re talking about an 8% cut of 6% of the total budget. Is there a document somewhere explaining UVa’s budget sources of funding.

  2. Sure thing, Rick—page 1 of UVA’s 2009-10 budget summary. I’ve never looked at this document before, and I’m kind of surprised by what I’m seeing here. If I understand it properly, UVA is basically a hospital that funds a school on the side. 43% of UVA’s income is “patient revenue,” a term that I see employed later in the document to refer to income from the medical center.

  3. I think the chart you’re looking at includes the operating budget for the hospital. The way I read it, the hospital accounts for 43% of all costs, and patient revenue accounts for 43% of money coming in. Does that mean the hospital is completely self-supporting? I could be reading it wrong too.

    Yeah, an 8% cut from what is already only a 7% share of UVA’s budget shouldn’t make too big of a dent.

    Come to think of it, are people working at UVA employed by the state or by the university? Can the governor really force UVA employees to take an unpaid day off when the state arguably only contributes 7% of their salary?

  4. 8% of 6.9% of $2,253,700 = $12,440,424.

    Twelve million here, twelve million there and soon you’re talking real money….

  5. As usual the only people at UVA that will be hurt financially by the budget cuts, furloughs or whatever are the folks making less than $50K per year, the rest of the folks at UVA will continue to do very nicely.
    If push comes to shove why can’t the university take some funds from the capital campaign which is in the Billions of dollars to make up for this supposedly one time budget short fall?
    The university administration always says how important its employees are. Well here is a chance to use the donations to the university to benefit its greatest resource….its employees.

  6. On the bright side, fewer UVA workers means more parking places for those who dodge the bullet.

  7. Page 45: the Medical Center has an operating revenue just shy of $1B, of which about ~96% is used to pay its operating expenses.

    The remaining 4%, of order $40M, is effectively net income. That $40M is tiny compared to the $1.2B operating budget of the academic side of UVa.

    In other words, the hospital is not funding the school.

  8. oniss, please explain your math. Was it Everett Dirksen that first used that budgetary parable.

  9. Come to think of it, are people working at UVA employed by the state or by the university?

    Most people at UVA are state employees, but many of us who started in the past couple of years are “charter employees,” meaning that we work for the university, not the state. With very few exceptions, anybody who has been at the university for more than two years is a state employee.

  10. Most people at UVA (not the medical center which is separate) are state employees. This is very scary especially to those individuals who already work 2 jobs just to make a living in the city. UVA has not yet announced how they will handle the furlough day, but it will hurt many of us. As for the “extra parking” we pay hefty for those spaces. I myself pay almost $600 per year for my parking space and there are some lots which are even higher. I hope UVA has the sense not to increase health insurance or parking this year as they normally do.

  11. Saw this comment at the Hook under the name fred. Ssth, do you know anything about this ?

    fred September 10th, 2009 | 5:21 am

    With all the cuts at UVA, Facilities Management is still sending a large group to Hilton Head, S.C. for a needless convention. There’s about fifty of them going with their spouses included at a price to the state of about $3,000 per couple. What a waist of tax payer’s money.

  12. There is a ton of waste at UVA. They could start by cancelling all unecessary travel, conventions etc. Put a lid on the huge expense accounts. Stop all the building and rennovations. Dig into their billion dollar endowment fund.
    12M is but a small part of their budget. UVA is rich. Them crying poor is a joke. They’re not. if they raise parking or insurance rates instead of doing some of the above, I would hope employees would say something-if they aren’t too afraid that is.

    I’m quite sure the little junket by FM is true. They do this stuff all the time.

    And don’t even get me started on the Athletic Dept.Tons of money could be saved there if they had the will to do it.

  13. Perhaps members of the public or journalism profession will FOIA for some of these expenses. It’s all public record and would make an eye-popping story I’m sure.

  14. Well that would mean a reporter-you know- would have to actually do some INVESTIGATIVE reporting rather than just talking to a few employees or getting a comment from Madison Hall.

    Too much work.

  15. Jan,

    I know a lot of people who would start by cutting the football coach’s salary by $1M, and his staff’s salaries too. Of course, since the Athletic Department is pretty much self sufficient (no state funds), I’m not sure any savings from over there would find their way back to the general fund. I’m assuming they’d be used to meet this year’s fundraising shortfall (over $2M short as of now) or to cover some of the outstanding debt on the arena and other construction.

  16. Wow, I thought UVA was the employer of choice in the number one city. Sounds like some disgruntlement, and with good cause I might add. Didn’t know about the arm-and-a-leg parking fees. Their salaries have always been low, too. So much so that I read they had to adjust their pay bands separate from other state agencies, just like they do in NOVA because it’s so much more expensive here in Shangri-La. I’ve always said, “Welcome to Charlottesville, where the cost of living is high and the pay is low.” But hey, it’s all about the wonderful quality of life here, right? I have to keep telling myself that. Be grateful for that UVA job though. In this ‘burg if you don’t work for the city, the county or UVA, a good job is hard to find.

  17. Jan, do you read the Hook. They’ve done an amazing job of investigating the Water, Sewer and Solid Waste Authority and won the top award in Journalism last year for their investigative articles about the attempt
    to misrepresent the true cost of dredging. You can find these articles at our website They have also been investigating the Solid Waste Authority’s lawsuit against a private business person. Plus the excellent reporting on smoke detectors. This is the top investigative team in town and it wouldn’t surprise me if they take on this issue as well.

  18. Wish they would Betty. And yes, they seem to be the best investigators. And more importantly, they are not afraid to say something mean about UVA-or- excuse me, the truth. But I suppose we should wait to see what cuts UVA makes. Could be good and legitimate cuts. Hopefully no layoffs and the brunt won’t fall on their most vulnerable employees.

  19. Charter Reform means you are state employees without any of the benefits of being a state employee (or with the lesser benefits of private industry employment).

  20. Usually the University does not have the option to take money from the Capital Fund arbitrarily and move it to the Operating Funds, any more that a church can take contributions from its building funds and pay the minister.
    Also, attending conferences, presenting papers to conferences may well be a requirement of a grant or necessary to get a grant renewal. Since UVA is probably already receiving its maximum chunk for administering the grant already it can not take more money and put it into operations, it just as well continue paying its grant-salaried employees and purchasing equipment, etc. In other words UVA may be taking in a lot of money but it is limited in its discretion for spending a large part of it.
    If people are dissatisfied with working UVA they can do what hundreds of other people do every year and seek employment at other instituions somewhere else. They may make more or they may make less but they will probably broaden their horizons in the long run. People need to realize that Charlottesville isn’t the only place to live.

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