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Published: Wednesday, 10/24/2001

UT leader: Sacrifice will help avoid cuts

The University of Toledo will have to make sacrifices to make up for the millions it will lose as a result of state spending cuts, but President Daniel Johnson said yesterday he hopes to avoid layoffs in general, as well as cutbacks at the university library.

Dr. Johnson addressed the fiscal situation during a visit to the university faculty senate.

A town hall meeting that is open to the public will be held at 4 p.m. today in the Student Union.

Last week, Gov. Bob Taft made it official that because of a sluggish economy, the budget for higher education will be cut by 6 percent. UT officials say that move will cost the university $5.6 million.

“This is a very difficult and complex problem to handle,” Dr. Johnson told the senate.

He said the university will follow a very open process in determining how to deal with the cuts. He offered few details about how the university will respond but said raising tuition is a last resort.

Dr. Johnson said he will ask that the William S. Carlson Library be spared. The library, devastated by retirements and a hiring freeze, has been understaffed in recent years. A search is under way for a permanent dean.

“I believe that we need to focus new attention on ensuring that the University of Toledo has a strong, vibrant library that supports the academic programs and the academic mission of the institution,” the president said.

In tackling the budget cuts, one focus should be finding new revenue sources and adding flexibility to the budgeting process, Dr. Johnson said.

There has been talk of a potential hiring freeze, but he said he “would like to think of it more as a chill. We have some positions we have to fill.”

The aim still is to fill budgeted, vacant tenure track positions at the university, as well as key administrative posts filled on an interim basis.

The university has searches well under way for a provost and athletic director, and several vice presidents are serving in an interim capacity.

Dr. Johnson also discussed advertisements for faculty positions that were published recently and which faculty contend violated normal hiring procedures. He said he is waiting for the fact-finding committee that he established to review the matter to issue its report, which is anticipated within a week.

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