The picture has become clear for TAMIU and the financial situation they find themselves in as the Texas special legislative session is drawing closer to an end. While things don't look good, President Dr. Ray Keck knows things could be worse. He discussed how the university will handle the looming cuts this afternoon with our Ryan Bailey.
Texas A & M International University is looking at an 18% cut; meaning $9.2 million will be slashed from their budget over the next two years.
"Young universities like this one that were a part of the south Texas initiative suffered a much more serious blow."
While the state has given them massive cuts, the TAMIU Regents have been handed a mandate that tuition cannot be raised for the 2011 school year. This means students will see a number of changes, beginning with larger class sizes, but that can only go so far.
"We're still limited by the size of our spaces. We can't have a class that goes much beyond 200 for a lecture because we don't have halls that will hold more than that."
Another change coming to students is financial aid, or a lack of it. The Texas grant, which helped hundreds afford college, will now be drastically cut.
"Approximately 150 to 175 students will receive Texas grant this fall. Last year it was 330."
The university is not expecting to lay off any staff, but it will mean professors adding an extra class each year to their workload.
"We don't want to cap student enrollment, but that means we have to keep facility numbers. Had it been 27%, we would have had to layoff people."
Two areas that won't be touched are student services and athletics but Dr. Keck says there is a very good reason for that.
"Our athletic program is funded by an athletic fee. If we cancel the athletic program tomorrow, there would be no additional money to add to the academic side of the university. These are completely different sources of money."
Overall Keck knows these are trying times but says that TAMIU will get through it.
"This university is whole. This university is healthy. This university is certainly going to come through this."
Ryan Bailey, Laredo's pro 8 news.
The university has cut 11 positions that were all currently vacant, that included one professor opening. In addition all university salaries have been frozen and travel will be greatly limited. Dr. Keck says all these changes were necessary to keep all of their current staff employed by TAMIU.