UTPB could face major cuts to budget, university remains optimistic

UTPB could face major cuts to budget, university remains optimistic
(Source: KWES).

ODESSA, TX (KWES) - The state of Texas is working on its budget and the University of Texas of the Permian Basin could be facing some major cuts.

"The reduction is state support is really quite critical," said Dr. David Watts, UTPB president. "It's a little concerning."

UTPB could lose up to $21.9 million dollars over a two year period.

Universities receive funding from the state and through tuition, but with UTPB having the second lowest tuition in Texas, they rely heavily on the money that could be cut.

"The area where reductions are proposed are what we call line items, unaffected by enrollments, they are fundamental to the support of faculty and staff here at the university," said Watts.

Watts says line items pay for salaries and benefits for faculty and staff, along with helping paying for the university's engineering and nursing programs.

Watt says he's confident those vital programs to our area won't suffer.

"We are working hard with Senator Seliger and his committee to be sure that all of our programs that are critical to the health and safety of this region continue to be supported," said Watts.

Watts says it's important to keep in mind this is just an initial proposal.

"I don't think that budget is going to pass. This is just a starting point. This is not the first time UTPB has ever faced a budget cut and we have pulled through and we will pull through again," said Watts.

The House of Representatives and the Senate are both working on budgets. They will then come to an agreement on what needs to be done.

The legislative session ends May 29.

Copyright 2017 KWES. All rights reserved.