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University of Wyoming faces $42.3M budget cut over 2 years

LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) — The University of Wyoming is developing plans to address a $42.3 million budget cut over the next two years because state revenues are declining due to the coronavirus pandemic and a downturn in the coal, oil and natural gas industries.

The university’s biennium budget committee chair and trustee John McKinley spoke about the budget cuts with the university’s Board of Trustees on Thursday.

University President Ed Seidel and a budget reduction working group must develop a budget reduction plan within 45 days, the Laramie Boomerang reported.

The university’s $445.5 million two-year budget was approved in May. The approximately 10% statewide budget cuts, totaling $250 million, were announced by Gov. Mark Gordon in August. Gordon has said another $250 million in cuts would follow to help address a potential $1 billion shortfall.

The university has been looking for ways to cut the budget by 10% and possibly by 20% since June, or find ways to raise revenues to make up for the lost state money.

“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. In order to do this well, UW needs to continue to develop deep and authentic partnerships with community colleges, communities, businesses and government organizations as we support the building of the workforce across the state.”

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