Bardo pledges to defer to deans

Western Carolina University Chancellor John Bardo in an interview with The Smoky Mountain News last week said that he is distancing himself from the budget cut process.

He said he is leaving it up to a “cadre of deans” and the provost to come up with areas that could be cut.

He also said, “My finance guy is going through and looking at everything.”

By having the deans and provost handle the budget cuts rather than himself, he said it is a step toward “decentralizing” the university, which he said needs to be done if WCU grows as much as he thinks it will in the next 15 to 20 years.

A lot of the decisions will be “done away from me,” Bardo said.

Bardo noted that some teachers could lose their jobs. “If we get a 5 to 7 percent cut, there will be layoffs,” Bardo said.

Minimizing the cost of athletic programs is a way the university can save money, Bardo said, adding that the band may not need to go on every sports trip.

To hold down costs, a new position to oversee development of Millennial Initiative projects has been eliminated because it is not considered “mission critical,” Bardo said.

Bardo said the university is trying to be judicious in deciding what is and is not critical. For instance, he said the position of chief diversity officer will remain.

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