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VIRGINIA'S ECONOMIC FUTURE UNCERTAIN, PRESIDENT TELLS GATHERING

The Old Dominion University community should brace for funding cuts given Virginia's uncertain economy, university President Roseann Runte told a gathering of university faculty and employees Tuesday.

Though a round of cuts was averted last year, another could be on the way because the state's economic fortunes have not improved and, in some cases, have worsened, Runte told a crowd of several hundred at Webb University Center.

"We can't take a cut and pretend it doesn't hurt," Runte said. "We all have to complain that this is serious. But we're going to try and make it painless."

Runte also said she's not optimistic about pay raises for university employees given the state funding situation.
A small budgetary cushion was left behind by former President James V. Koch which, along with an unexpected increase in enrollment this year, could help minimize the impact of any cuts, she said.

Members of the university community should contact their state legislators to express their support for Old Dominion and let their elected officials know the community supports higher education in Virginia, Runte said.

"We're concerned but we're all going to have to work very hard," she said. In the event of cuts, "we have to let everyone know that we're open for business and you could get a fabulous education here."

Runte said the university's parking situation should improve with the completion of a multi-level parking garage on Hampton Boulevard and the opening of the MAGLEV magnetic levitation transportation system linking the planned University Village development with the Powhatan Avenue residence halls. The MAGLEV is scheduled to begin operation this spring.

It's uncertain whether parking fees will increase as a result because details of next year's budget haven't been worked out, she said.

This article was posted on: November 20, 2001

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