ETSU will avoid deep budget cuts despite warnings to prepare for spending reductions

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — East Tennessee State University will not face steep budget cuts this fall despite warnings the school’s funding could take a devastating hit because of the pandemic.

That news was announced Friday night by ETSU President Dr. Brian Noland in a video sent out to students, faculty, and staff.

“I want to share some outstanding news with the entire campus community,” Noland said.

Dr. Noland said that the Tennessee Higher Education Commission met today and announced that higher education budgets in the state would not be cut as part of a commitment to supporting higher ed in Tennessee.

Noland said ETSU and other state colleges and universities have spent the past three weeks preparing for a possible 12-percent mandated spending reduction to offset the drop in state tax revenue.

“The good news that I want to share is that I’ve been encouraging the campus to prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” Noland said. “And today we were provided significant hope with affirmation that our budgets will not be cut for the upcoming year.”

Noland said work continues on the budget, and funding will be greatly impacted by enrollment at the end of the summer.

“I can not do enough to thank Governor Lee and the delegation for their faith, support, and commitment to higher education,” he said. “That faith, support, and commitment in many ways traces its roots back to this campus because we were the first institution in the state through a vote by our Trustees taken in April to hold our fees level at zero.”

Noland said other state universities have since taken the same course of action.

Classes at ETSU are set to resume on campus August 24th.

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