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Arriving Students Find Fewer Teachers

August 20th, 2008 by flanews

College kids across the state are moving into their dorms this week but with the states 11 public universities losing 174 million dollars to budget cuts they can expect less. As Whitney Ray tells us, students moving into their new dorm rooms can expect fewer creature comforts and fewer study partners.

Hear it Here: Universities Drop Enrollment to Balance Budgets

Omar Butcher is moving back into the dorms at Florida State University for his senior year. Omar worries about budget cuts diminishing his quality of education.

I think it trickles down from the top all the way down to the bottom. Even down to the student, said Omar.

For the second year in a row, Floridas 11 public universities have less money to spend. Universities statewide have laid off faculty and frozen unfilled position. Raises are also out of the question. FSU says its getting harder to keep quality professors.

There are universities that arent cutting, and if theyre not cutting and they have the money to hire faculty at a higher rate than what youre paying them, then theres definitely going to be a loss, and were experiencing that as well as all the schools in Florida, said Assistant Vice President of Enrollment at FSU, John Barnhill.

To save money, enrollment was lowered statewide. Nathan Cooks daughter studied hard to get admitted.

She was the valedictorian of her class, said Cook.

FSU cut enrollment by a thousand students. Fewer students on campus means less money being spent back to school shopping. Florida TaxWatch said fewer people buying computers and notebooks, means less state revenue.

Theres a lot of money being spent by these people when they come to the university. If they go elsewhere in the state, or just stay at home and are not spending money, then thats money the state loses, said Florida TaxWatch Director of Communication Rob Weissert.

Until the tax revenue increases it will be hard to convince lawmakers to restore funding to higher education. The University Systems Board of Governors is asking lawmakers for 65 million dollars to keep quality professors from leaving the state.

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