UGA sign outside (copy)

The University System of Georgia is reducing their fiscal year 2021 budget due to statewide revenue loss from the coronavirus. (Photo/File)

The University System of Georgia must submit a proposal to reduce their base budget by 14% for fiscal year 2021 due to statewide revenue loss from the coronavirus, according to an email from USG Chancellor Steve Wrigley.

Wrigley has instructed all USG institutions to submit plans to address the 14% reduction to the state by May 20, according to the email. USG is made up of 26 public universities across the state, including the University of Georgia.

All state agencies have been directed to develop new spending plans that include a 14% budget reduction for fiscal year 2021, which begins July 1. Furloughs and layoffs are included in the actions that can be taken to reduce spending, the email said.

The Board of Regents, the governing body of the university system, was allocated $2.6 billion in fiscal year 2020, according to the Governor’s Budget in Brief. A reduction of 14% would reduce their fiscal year 2021 budget by $361 million.

Institutions are only submitting plans at this point, and the specifics of how they will be implemented are not yet final. All vacant positions not considered essential are on a hiring hold, and the hiring process for essential positions will be “critical,” the email said.

Any budget plans submitted must be approved by the Georgia legislature and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, according to the email.

Jacqueline GaNun is a junior at the University of Georgia studying journalism, international affairs and French. She has held multiple roles on The Red & Black's news desk, including news editor and coronavirus reporter.

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