Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The sky is falling!

Texas is facing a budget shortfall that is proportionately larger than the one facing California. This couldn't possibly hurt Perry in his bid for re-election.

(I'm not saying that he can be faulted for all of our woes, but he surely shouldn't be bragging about the great shape that Texas is in. The sky really does look like it's about to fall. I can only imagine that eduction is in serious, serious trouble here.)

6 comments:

Shelley said...

I'm a Texas writer, but I live in California, and I'm telling you: once the deficit hits, all the dominoes go down.

Good luck. Start a savings account right now.

Mike Almeida said...

It's very easy to overstate the worry for higher education. It's grim if they don't use rainy day funds, which many are reluctant to use. Interestingly, one of the reasons it's being talked up in Austin (post election) is to generate a picture grim enough to make legistaters use that fund. In the end, they will. There are no furloughs in Texas (it's unconstitutional), and it's very unlikely that, given no furloughs, they'll just start firing faculty. At UTSA, in any case, the faculty senate is getting way upstream on the issue and will definitely be in position to shape the cuts. It's not time to panic.

Clayton said...

Hey Mike,

I'm not panicking. Not yet, at any rate. But, the budget certainly looks worse than I think people were thinking just a few months back.

Mike Almeida said...

No, right, it does look worse. The numbers weren't released while Perry was running for governor (and claiming everything was fine). It's a serious shortfall that has fluctuated between 20 and 26 billion. I think it has pretty much settled at 25 billion. The Provost was emphatic that losing faculty is the absolute last measure. Long before that departments with lots of staff will probably lose some of those (Biology has 9 admins, for instance). There are large cuts that can be made to the non-academic side of the university, too, and those will certainly happen. I've been in touch with Dr. Carola Wenk (senate chair), who has requested the proposed budgets for next year. I'm happy to pass along whatever I hear.

Clayton said...

I think it's safe to say that we're relatively safe @ UTSA, but I'm certainly worried about other state employees. I don't know if the Texas state legislature has 99 or 100 Republicans now, but combine that with the massive budget shortfall, and I don't think this is going to be a great year for the folks I know working for the state outside of academia.

Anonymous said...

You should check this out: http://www.texastribune.org/library/data/government-employee-salaries/