State Capitol News
1:14 am
Thu January 10, 2008

NAU President lobbies against funding cut

Phoenix, AZ – The presidents of the state universities came to the
Capitol Wednesday to plead against drastic mid-year
budget cuts. Arizona Public Radio's Howard Fischer was
there.


The proposal by the chairmen of the House and Senate
Appropriations Commitees seeks to take 10 percent of
each school's budget. For Northern Arizona University
that translates out to $16 million. NAU President John
Haeger said it would be bad enough if lawmakers asked
him to cut that much for next year. But doing that in
the middle of this budget year is impossible given what
he can -- and cannot -- legally cut.

(82 percent of our budget is in faculty and staff
salaries. They're all on contracts. So we're looking at
16 percent of the budget for other budgets locally that
can help address this issue for one year. And then we
have to look at longer term consequences.)

Haeger said that longer term consequence is dire. He
said $16 million translates into the colleges of
education and business combined -- or all of NAU's
statewide programs away from the Flagstaff campus. But
Senate Appropriations Chair Bob Burns said the state's
$970 million deficit means everyone has to sacrifice.

(If I'm in a business and I find out in January that
I'm losing money, I start making cuts right now. I
mean, I've got to do it, period, or I don't survive.)

The budget discussions continue today at the Capitol.
For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.