UA Little Rock $12 million deficit: ‘It’s not as drastic as it sounds’

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — There are fewer students heading to class at UA Little Rock. 

Enrollment is down by about 500 compared to this time last year, according to Chancellor Andrew Rogerson. 

The drop in enrollment over the last 10 years is trickling down to the budget. 

The university is 12 million dollars in the hole for next school year. 

“It’s not as drastic as it sounds,” Chancellor Rogerson said. 

Rogerson is presenting the 2020 budget to the board of directors next week. 

Six million dollars will come from savings, the other 6 from campus-wide cuts. 

“It’s not 6 million that’s going to in any way disadvantage any students. We’ll just look for greater efficiencies, we’ll slowly reduce the number of staff we have on campus by attrition,” Rogerson said. 

Rogerson says a better economy keeps some students in the workforce and out of college. 

They have restructured their student affairs and are working to recruit and retain more students from out of the region. 

“We’ll come out of this leaner but stronger,” Rogerson said. 

But some students say one negative mark on the university is the adjoining charter high school — eStem. 

“We had a new high school on the campus that really none of the students were consulted about,” UALR Senior Mary Crockett said. 

 “It has definitely been an issue that remains so far unsolved,” UALR Senior Jake Green said. 

These students believe keeping a healthy campus — whether financially or culturally — starts with the students. 

“I definitely feel that the students should be consulted more going forward,” Crockett said. 

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