Administration hosts budget talk with FAU faculty

Dylan Bouscher

Faculty and staff crammed into a room in the Nursing Building for a conversation about the budget cuts on Monday. Photo by Christine Capozziello.

Some faculty barely got a seat. Others had to stand. Students and professors on other campuses crowded around a camera and microphone for a videoconference.

During a conversation about the budget cuts on Monday, faculty and staff from every campus raised their voice at administrators. In the meeting, Senior Vice President for Financial Affairs Dennis Crudele presented the problems FAU faces due to the cuts from state funding, and the possible solutions faculty and staff offered. One solution was to shut down the Treasure Coast and Fort Lauderdale campuses.

Crudele started off with a number: the $26,717,263 FAU will lose when the next fiscal year starts on July 1.

“That’s the real bad news,” Crudele said. Then he talked about the measures the university is considering to deal with the cuts, before opening up to questions.

Senior Vice President for Financial Affairs Dennis Crudele answered questions from faculty and staff about the new budget cuts. The cuts start affecting the university on July 1. Photo by Christine Capozziello.

Besides shutting down the Treasure Coast and Fort Lauderdale campuses, the Sea Tech campus in Dania Beach will also lose its state funding and start supporting itself through research grants, according to Crudele. Increasing admission, research and offering lower level classes in Davie are more options on the table. If the two campuses are shut down, programs at Treasure Coast will be moved to Harbor Branch or Jupiter while programs in Fort Lauderdale will be moved to either Davie or Boca.

When Shane Eason, a multimedia instructor in Fort Lauderdale asked about the campuses being shut down, Crudele told him they were not “making any profit.” Then Eason asked another question. “So that’s what this is? It’s all about privatizing the university,” Eason said. “This needs to be re-evaluated.”

The 569 students in Fort Lauderdale and the 247 at Treasure Coast will also move over, but their administrators might not. Part of the university’s plan to address the cuts is to “minimize administrative overhead,” Crudele said. That means administrators could be fired, and Human Resources will look into their severances packages. “H.R. will have discussions with people affected on the administrative side,” he said.

Monique Paramore, the student who organized the protests against summer class cuts, asked administrators about their plan for summer with the new cuts. Photo by Christine Capozziello.

Some faculty felt the budget talks didn’t help. “We were provided with information available elsewhere,” Tim Lenz said, chair of the Political Science Department.

Crudele also talked about the classes cut this summer and the professors affected. He said, “There’s been so many numbers thrown out, I’m not even sure of all of them.”