by Jim Nintzel
University of Arizona President Robert Shelton has informed UA employees that they will not have to take a furlough this year.
In the spring, when we were preparing for the current fiscal year, it was unclear whether the state would accept federal stimulus funding. In anticipation of further budget cuts for the FY10 year, furloughs became a
necessary component of efforts to balance our budget. We notified all faculty and staff at the time to plan on furloughs but not to schedule any until at least September. This strategy allowed us time to determine the exact impact of the state cuts and the level of any federal aid that we would receive.
The furloughs would have provided an opportunity for temporary budget savings this year. The federal stimulus funding that has been allocated to the UA, coming through the Governor's Office as State Fiscal Stabilization Funds, are also temporary, one-time funds. While critically important to our budget for this year (and I cannot overstate how grateful we are to President Obama for initiating the program and Governor Brewer for securing the funds), they do not resolve the more fundamental, long-term issues that result from the state appropriation reductions. They do, however, make it possible to eliminate the furloughs that had been planned for this year.
We are very appreciative of the efforts of Governor Brewer to secure the federal funding, and are pleased that we can relieve faculty and staff of the hardship that would have resulted if the furloughs had been implemented.