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Colleges deal with budget cuts

COVINGTON - Some colleges across the state this week are dealing with more budget cuts.

On Wednesday, the Board of Regents approved a plan that requires employees of the University System of Georgia to take six furlough days this school year.

According to the BOR, the furloughs will affect 40,000 employees, not including those paid $23,660 or less annually.

The furlough is equivalent to a 3 percent pay cut and is expected to save $42 million.

Colleges and universities like Georgia Perimeter College, Clayton State University, the University of Georgia and the Georgia Institute of Technology, among others, make up the university system.

An official at GPC, which has a campus in Newton County, said the school will decrease operating and equipment expenses, decrease travel expenditures, use contingencies created for potential budget reductions and comply with the six furlough days.

"At this point, we are not intending to implement any layoffs or eliminate any positions which are currently filled," said Ron Carruth, executive vice president at the college. "However, it will be necessary to delete some number of vacant positions."

More cuts could come if the state continues to withhold the university system's cash - currently, it is withholding 5 percent, an amount that could grow to 8 percent.

"It is always our intent to protect instruction (in) the classroom and not to cut where there will be a lasting impact on the institution," Carruth said. "As an institution, we are very competitive and will weather this economic storm."

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@newtoncitizen.com.