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KU budget deleted scenes: school-by-school cuts and a possible hours reduction at Watson Library

Over the weekend, we updated you on how KU is dealing with, and worrying about, its state funding cuts this year. These two bits didn't quite fit in that story, but they might be interesting for folks on the hill:

• If you read the story, you saw that the KU administration told the different academic units on the Lawrence campus to cut their budgets by varying percentages.

Tim Caboni, KU's vice chancellor for public affairs, told me the higher-ups determined the percentages based on the different schools' research productivity and on whether their enrollment was growing or declining. (Research was the bigger part of the equation, accounting for two-thirds of the calculation.)

The better each school was doing in those areas, Caboni said, the smaller the cut it received (at least by percentage). He said the administration did it this way to preserve what it considers most important, and that leaders hope it will serve as a "motivator" for schools to improve in those areas.

Anyway, because of all that, it might be interesting to see the full list of percentage cuts by school. Here you go, starting with the highest:

-School of Journalism: 0.97 percent

-School of Music: 0.89 percent

-School of Business: 0.87 percent

-College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: 0.84 percent

-School of Social Welfare: 0.82 percent

-School of Architecture, Design and Planning: 0.72 percent

-School of Pharmacy: 0.69 percent

-School of Education: 0.6 percent

-School of Law: 0.45 percent

-School of Engineering: 0.4 percent

• One academic unit I left out of that list was the KU Libraries, because I'm giving it its own little section here. The libraries' cut was the same by percentage as the CLAS, 0.84 percent, and because of their sizable budget, they had one of the biggest cuts in terms of dollar amounts, at more than $100,000. (The College's cut, about $900,000, would dwarf all others on that list.)

I was curious how a cut like that might affect the libraries. The most noticeable effect for a lot of folks on campus could be a reduction in hours at KU's second most popular library, Watson Library.

Rebecca Smith, an executive director for the libraries, said leaders were considering closing Watson at midnight each weeknight instead of 3 a.m., allowing for a staff reduction. So if that's your go-to late-night study spot, you may have to find a new one. They haven't made a final decision on that, though.

The main way the libraries will deal with the cuts is to leave some vacant positions unfilled, Smith said. That means there will be fewer librarians available to do things like training students on research, helping faculty gather information and archiving KU research. (Smith noted that an academic library these days is far from just a "book depository.")

To me, anyway, the ways that this year's budget cuts will show up in the lives of people on campus are more interesting than percentages or dollar amounts, so let us know if you see a way that's happening. And get those KU news tips to merickson@ljworld.com.

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