Boise State, Idaho State spell out cost-cutting plans

Boise State University will absorb Gov. Brad Little’s order for midyear spending cuts by whittling away at budget reserves.

But next year, it gets more interesting. The state’s largest university will make a variety of spending cuts to meet Round Two of Little’s budget order.

Like nearly all state agencies — with K-12 a notable exception — Boise State needs to cut spending by 1 percent this budget year, and 2 percent in the budget year that starts July 1. The university spelled out its cost-cutting plan Friday, in a memo to the State Board of Education.

This year’s cuts come to slightly more than $1 million. Budget “carryforward” money should cover the difference, said Mark Heil, Boise State’s vice president and chief financial officer.

For next year, Boise State’s $2.1 million cost-cutting plan includes the following:

  • Cutting subscriptions, memberships, travel and training. Savings: $560,000.
  • Reducing six teaching positions, through attrition and by “shifting teaching loads to other positions.” Savings: $390,000.
  • Eliminating five student support positions, also through attrition and shifting workloads. Savings: $380,000.
  • Eliminating administrative or operations jobs, or filling vacancies at lower pay grades. Savings: $345,000.
  • Reduced library purchases and subscriptions. Savings: $125,000.
  • Cuts in building maintenance and upkeep. Savings: $115,000.
  • Reduced support to Boise State Public Radio. Savings: $100,000.
  • Eliminating a staff position and operating expenditures for the Idaho Council on Economic Education. Savings: $90,000.

Idaho State’s cost-cutting plan

For this year, Idaho State University will cut $822,000 largely through a hiring slowdown “and a thorough review of all backfills and newly created positions,” Glen Nelson, the university’s vice president for finance and business affairs, said in a Dec. 4 memo to the State Board.

For next year, Idaho State should achieve at least half of its required $1.6 million cut by eliminating vacant positions and continuing a hiring slowdown. The university also will look at consolidating copying and printing contracts, reviewing its maintenance backlog and reviewing leases.

“This process is designed to identify the options for reductions that will be the least disruptive to student success versus an across-the-board 2 percent reduction,” Nelson wrote.


Kevin Richert

Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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