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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    University to Freeze Hiring as Concerns of More Budget Cuts Grow

    Stony Brook University is once again feeling the effects of the New York State budget cuts according to a press release issued from President Shirley Strum Kenny. As a result, the university will put a freeze on hiring of all staff and faculty.

    The freeze is in response to the New York State budget deficit. On Oct. 3, Governor Paterson, called for a special session of the New York Legislature, and is asking them to cut another $2 billion from the state budget to compensate for the $4.6 billion New York State deficit.

    According to Dan Melucci, Associate Vice President for Strategy, Planning and Analysis “SUNY could get a cut in the $190 – 200 million range and Stony Brook could get as much as $25 million of that amount,”

    Just over a month ago Stony Brook took a $7.3 million budget cut. With the dire economic situation, however, the university will be called to cut more. “We don’t know what Stony Brook’s share will be,” said Melucci.

    Melucci also said that the reasoning behind the freeze on hiring is so the university would not have to lay off as much staff in the future, and so the overall payroll doesn’t decline.

    The university will be putting a freeze on all positions supported by state funds. These positions, however, are charged to direct research grants, income fund reimbursable accounts, and the residence hall fund. The university hospital and Veterans Home will not be frozen.

    The journalism department is one area of the school that could suffer the most from this cut, being one of the newer additions to the university.

    “It is too early to know the real impact of the freeze,” said Howard Schneider, the dean of the school of journalism. “We hope that we can continue to grow rapidly and that the freeze will be lifted.”

    “There are so many unknowns right now,” Mr. Melucci said. Overall what we can expect from this cut is fewer faculties, and what students have feared, an eventual tuition rise.

    Positions that will not be frozen are the replacing of Kenny after her retirement at the end of the year and any dean positions.

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