(KCPW News) While Utah's smaller colleges have already notified faculty of possible layoffs, the state's largest university has adopted a wait-and-see attitude. University of Utah spokeswoman Coralie Alder says it's too soon to tell whether layoffs will be necessary.
"We're just not prepared at this point to be more specific on our budget cuts," Alder says. "We need to wait until we see what the Legislature does this year, and then we see what Governor Hutnsman does. And then we can move forward with specific cuts and where we need to make them. But it is difficult for everybody."
A four percent budget cut went into effect in November. The U is bracing for another 10 to 14 percent cut in the spring. And there is a possibility of even more cuts at the start of the new fiscal year in July. Alder says eventually deep cuts could hit personnel.
The threat of budget cuts has already spurred Salt Lake Community College to notify 27 of its 365 full-time faculty members that they may not have a job next year. Spokesman Joy Tlou says the letter was a legality the college was required to send out, and it's too soon to tell whether all 27 will lose their positions.
"The final number has not been delivered and a lot of things can be done — the adjustment of programs, class sizes, and times of day that even classes are taught — things along those lines," Tlou says. "There's a number of things that we can do from a management, a tactical standpoint between the final decision that will really help us determine exactly how many people we are able to retain."
Utah State University, Snow College and the College of Eastern Utah have already announced layoffs.