Lawmakers identify budget cut options for state universities

Posted: Updated:

TUCSON -- Key Arizona legislators have identified possible budget cut options that could approach approximately $390 million for the statewide university system.

A figure of that magnitude would be double the $191.5 million in cuts instituted for Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Northern Arizona recently by the Legislature for the current fiscal year.

Those reductions, from a total of $1.13 billion appropriated for the universities, helped eliminate the state's $1.6 billion budget shortfall brought on by the crumbling economy.

The universities also get money from tuition and federal grants.

State Board of Regents President Fred Boice told legislators at a hearing that possible new cuts would "cause severe damage."

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)