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UW faced with $42.3 million budget reduction from state

LARAMIE (WNE) –  The University of Wyoming will see a budget reduction of $42.3 million worth of grant money from the state, a 10% cut, over the next two years amid the COVID-19 pandemic, biennium budget committee chair and trustee John McKinley said at Thursday morning’s UW Board of Trustees meeting.

A subsequent budget reduction plan will be created by UW president Ed Seidel and a budget reduction working group in the coming months. It must be presented for final approval within 45 days.

The university’s current state budget was approved in late May prior to knowledge that funding would be slashed. The initial level of state funding for UW’s current biennial budget is set at just under $445.5 million. With a 10% reduction, that number would be cut to a little over $403 million in state funding.

“We have been preparing for this process since the summer, and we’ll now take the steps to develop a specific plan that achieves the necessary reductions while building a best-in-class 21st century land-grant university true to its Wyoming roots,” Seidel said in a statement. “We’re working to help lay the foundation for the new economy of the state.”

During the same board meeting, Seidel discussed a change in protocol to the school’s pause plan, which was enacted for the first time Sept. 2. The pause, which was written into the schools COVID contingency plan, was put into place following five or more symptomatic tests results among students or staff in a given day. The pause lasted through Monday.