A legislative panel on Thursday recommended slashing higher education spending by 7 percent, which would cut $42 million from the state's eight degree-granting colleges and universities. Lawmakers also recommended cutting 5 and 10 percent, respectively, from the Utah College of Applied Technology and the Utah Education Network (UEN), which provides Internet connectivity for public and higher education in Utah.
The recommendation which would result in a third straight year of budget reductions at a time of historic enrollment increases raises the specter of layoffs, tuition hikes and reduced course offerings, officials earlier told the Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee.
"Any action we take with the budget is a tentative action," said co-chairman Sen. Stephen Urquhart, R-St. George. There will be further discussions that could result in "movement," especially if the Legislature receives positive revenue projections in February.