Original article appeared in The Beacon student newspaper on March 3, 2009. Please visit the PBA website for supporting press release on this issue here.
By Kristina Webb
Facing a deficit of over $3 million, Palm Beach Atlantic University has laid off seven employees and scheduled a tuition increase for the fall.
Tuition for full-time undergraduate day students will increase by $1,150, about 5 percent, to total $22,400 annually. Tuition will remain at current levels for evening undergraduate students, graduate students and students in the Orlando campus. Housing costs and meal plan prices will stay the same.
As colleges across the nation wrestle with economic shortfalls, PBA officials have managed to make budget cuts and still fill faculty openings.
“We are continuing to hire outstanding faculty to fill positions,” said Dr. David W. Clark, PBA president. “Three new faculty joined us in January and several more will be hired for next fall. We will continue to add talented faculty to strengthen our academic programs.”
The current school year’s budget was $71,603,608, but as revenues fell short of projections, budget officials made cuts totaling $3,453, 937.
“This year we did not make our enrollment numbers, so we had to adjust the budget downward to show that we had a lot less revenue,” said Renae Murray, acting chief financial officer for PBA.
“We asked the provost to talk to his deans, and volunteer areas where they could cut,” said Murray. “They went through and they took their travel budgets in half, and their faculty development.”
Seven people were laid off at the end of the fall semester, including employees from the library, Technology Services and Student Services. Nonetheless, officials remained optimistic that they can avoid severe financial cuts.
“You may have seen in the [Palm Beach] Post that the University of Miami has frozen all positions, all salaries and are not contributing in the coming year to their faculty and staff retirement,” Clark said. “I trust we will not face such actions in the coming year.” Continue reading