News 12 @ 6 o'clock -- October 14, 2008
AUGUSTA -- Area colleges like Augusta State are really starting to feel the pinch of the economy; in the classroom and in their pockets.
"Eighty-four percent of our total budget is salaries and benefits so we're really squeezing hard on the other sixteen percent in order not to effect our employment here," said Dan Whitfield, ASU Vice president of Business Operations.
ASU has already had to cut back on the purchase of books and magazines in the campus library. And with the Georgia Board of Regents' approval of another cut; it's going to get hit even harder to keep books on the shelves.
"That area has taken a hit this year. They'll still be buying, just fewer that what they would in a typical year," said Whitfield.
And fewer cashing in is something that USC Aiken understands. They say less alumni are donating.
"Businesses and private individuals are still donating but we've seen a reduction in those as well," said Virginia Hudock, USCA Vice Chancellor of Business and Finance.
Virginia Hudock says budget cuts aren't beneficial for students; and those students agree.
"I'm in softball and ten percent of our funding is getting cut that means we will have less money for food and other things we need for softball," said USCA freshman Lauren Rickabaugh.
"If they cut funding, it's going to make the price of books go up and they're already high," said USCA freshman Shannon Robinson.
A price that campuses like Augusta State and USC Aiken are having to pay because of budget cuts. Augusta state wants to hire more full-time professors, but because of the cuts can only afford to have part-time professors.
USC Aiken says it could go up by 7-percent. In the past, ASU has seen a 4 to 5 percent increase each year, but with the additional cuts, it will most likely be more than that.