University of Tennessee campus leaders are proposing to lay off hundreds of employees, raise tuition and cut programs to offset declining state revenues.
Gov. Phil Bredesen’s administration has asked the five-campus, 46,000-student system to come up with $66 million in savings for next year — roughly 14 percent of UT’s budget.
Campus leaders briefed UT trustees in Memphis on Thursday.
The campuses would eliminate 777 jobs — 543 are now filled. About half are at UT-Knoxville.
Tuition would increase 7 percent at Chattanooga and Martin, 9 percent at Knoxville and 10 percent or more at the Health Science Center in Memphis. Long lists of program cuts are being considered.
UT President John Petersen said it couldn’t get much tighter.
“We took a look at those cuts with no tuition increases,” he said, according to a press release. “We took a look at those with 7 percent increases for Martin and Chattanooga and 9 percent for Knoxville.
“The difference between those is the difference between cutting muscle and cutting bone,” he added.
The board meetings will continue through Friday.
The board will vote on the final budget and decisions about tuition increases at its annual meeting in June.