Governor Terry McAuliffe of Virginia has instructed public universities to prepare for a decrease in state funding for the next fiscal year, Richmond Times-Dispatch reports.
Public universities will likely have to budget accordingly for an estimated 7.5 percent cut in state funding, which typically covers the personnel and general functions of a university.
The letter detailing the cut was authored by Gov. McAuliffe’s Chief of Staff Paul Reagan, and sent to presidents and chancellors of public universities around the state. It was originally obtained by The Roanoke Times through the Virginia Freedom of Information Act.
The budget cuts will come from the general fund’s appropriation, but will be adjusted accordingly so that financial aid from the commonwealth will not be impacted. The figure of exactly how much will be cut at each university will be determined by Virginia’s Department of Planning and Budget.
The cuts will impact public universities Virginia such as Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, Radford University, James Madison University, and George Mason University.
Although most of the universities’ budgets are paid for through tuition, fees, and grants, state funds do indeed fund a sizeable portion of the bill. State funding has decreased in recent years.
However, McAuliffe does not want the decrease in state funding to lead to an increase in tuition costs, according to the letter.
“Tuition and fee increases beyond what was already being proposed in an institution’s six-year plan should not be considered as a mechanism to offset these reductions,” the letter said.
The cut comes after Virginia experienced approximately a $1.5 billion budget shortfall this year.