Severe budget cuts lie ahead for Georgia’s third-largest public college, the school’s interim president told faculty Friday.
Interim Georgia Perimeter College President Rob Watts said Friday that to narrow a projected deficit as high as $25 million next year the school’s administration had begun weighing layoffs, heavier teaching loads, larger class sizes and extended furloughs. It would not, however, shutter any of its five campuses.
Georgia Perimeter has been overspending by millions and is on track to end the current fiscal year with a nearly $16 million shortfall. The school has taken one-time actions to decrease the shortfall, but it is expected to borrow about $9 million from other schools to balance the books by the time the fiscal year ends June 30.
This scenario means Georgia Perimeter must cut next year’s budget by $25 million. It must pay back the millions borrowed and implement permanent spending cuts to erase the continuing deficit. Georgia Perimeter’s budget for next year $195.7 million. What it must cut almost equals next year’s budget for South Georgia College.
The dire financial condition of the Metro Atlanta commuter school had precipitated the ouster of its president, Anthony Tricoli, earlier this month. The Attorney General’s office has begun combing through school financials amid allegations of fraud in the weeks since.
The two-year school, which boasts nearly 27,000 students, will receive more than $50 million in state funds next fiscal year, which begins July 1. That figure does not include tuition, fees and grants the school receives.
- James Richardson