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Release: Oct. 8, 2001

UI administrators announce building, equipment deferrals in response to budget cuts

University of Iowa administrators announced today that the university will defer selected building renewal projects and equipment purchases in the face of proposed $21.9 million budget cuts.

In a joint announcement, UI Provost Jon Whitmore and UI Vice President for Finance and University Services Douglas K. True said they are ordering the deferment of building renewal projects totaling $1.7 million and equipment purchases totaling $1.1 million. The suspensions will take effect immediately.

"We are facing some stark choices," Whitmore said. "These projects and equipment are critically important to the advancement of the university's mission. Deferring them is necessary to help meet the immediate shortfall but the projects must be re-activated next year."

True said that plans call for reinstatement of the projects and purchases in the next fiscal year but other budget cuts or replacement revenue will be essential for that to happen.

"The deferments we are announcing today are designed to take expenditures out of the current fiscal year, which is already more than one-quarter over."

Whitmore said that reinstating the projects and purchases would be a priority for the next fiscal year.

"These projects and this equipment are investments in our educational future," he said. "They must be retained over the long term."

Examples of deferrals include substantial instructional equipment for labs and classrooms, replacement computers for faculty, startup equipment for new faculty, remodeling and equipment for two academic departments, and classroom/teaching lab renovation projects.

"The UI building repairs budget will now be less than half of the objective cited in the UI strategic plan targets and indicators," True said.

Last week, UI Vice President for Research David J. Skorton announced the suspension of six internal grant competitions. That suspension will save the university about $1.1 million from the current fiscal year. Combined with the suspensions announced today, nearly $3.9 million of the $21.9 million in proposed cuts has been identified so far.