Last Wednesday, President Gregory Fenves announced a budget cut of $20 million, part of which will be used to fund merit-based salary increases for faculty and staff starting next academic year.
Additional funding for the raises will come from individual departments and administrative bodies, which will help determine how they should be distributed among faculty and staff, Fenves said.
“To continue recruiting and retaining the faculty and staff members who are at the heart of the university, we must invest in them,” Fenves said in a statement.
Cindy Posey, director of internal and campus safety communications, said it is still being determined which specific programs will receive spending cuts.
“We are going to have to make some tough choices about what we continue to do and what we will discontinue,” said Darrell Bazzell, senior vice president and chief financial officer, in a statement to faculty and staff.
Posey said this change invests in the University’s original method of determining merit-based salaries.
“Each year salary decisions are recommended by the University Budget Council and approved by the president,” Posey said in an email. “This year is no different. And they are merit-based, so worth noting that not everyone will see the same increase.”
Last month, the Texas Legislature passed a biennial budget that reduced the University’s funding by $32 million per year, prompting the $20 million cut in spending, which is about 2 percent of the University’s core budget, Fenves said.
“Even if UT Austin’s base funding had remained flat, inflation and increases in operating costs would have necessitated decreases in other areas,” Fenves said in a statement.
To make for a smoother transition period, Fenves said that the Texas Legislature provided the University with a one-year delay on the budget decrease that will be implemented for the upcoming biennium.
“Base funding in the future remains uncertain,” Fenves said.