A committee of the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees that is monitoring the financial situation at UAMS is meeting this morning for a monthly review.

They’ll be looking at this statement of the financial picture for the first seven months of the year.

The report’s “good news”:

The campus believes that it can meet a target of reducing a projected $72 million deficit to $39 million for the year ending June 30, in part because massive layoffs are now hitting the books.  Bad news includes the fact that expenses are increasing at a greater rate than revenue.

Leslie Peacock was to attend, but has a rain difficulty. I’ll be interested if the committee discusses one point of the financial document that struck me:

Compensation and Benefits Expenses increased $43.4 million (9%) more in the first six months of FY 2018 than the first six months of FY 2018. This increase over the prior year appears primarily due to the combination of:

*pay increases per the implementation of the campus-wide compensation plan, and

* higher full time equivalent (FTE) employee count in the clinical areas, with 64% of this variance (over the comparable prior period) occurring in ICE, where FTEs increased by 304 (6%) over the past year.

It should be clear, of course, that a $39 million deficit with depleted reserves and suspension of $4 million in deferred maintenance is not what you’d call good news for the long term. At some point the legislature must help, or else rethink what UAMS is going to be.