ATHENS, Ga. -- Salary reductions for Michael Adams and other highly paid administrators could be part of a new round of budget cuts at the University of Georgia next year, Adams said.
"I think at some point anything's on the table," Adams said Thursday at a scheduled news conference. Some legislators and student leaders have called on the University System of Georgia to help make up for lagging state tax revenues by cutting the pay of administrators.
Adams makes more than $600,000 a year, according to state records.
But Adams didn't back off proposals for drastic cuts to programs like the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and 4-H.
"We will continue to protect instruction first," said Adams.
Cutting the botanical garden and 4-H were two elements of a hurriedly drawn list of actions that would reduce the University System of Georgia budget by $300 million. About one-fifth, or $60 million, would come out of UGA budgets.
University system officials came up with the list after legislators said the university system might have to trim expenditures by $300 million in the 2011 fiscal year - in addition to $265 million in cuts already planned in Gov. Sonny Perdue's budget.
Last week, Perdue said the overall budget reduction for higher education should be about $382 million instead of the legislators' suggested $565 million.
But even with smaller spending cuts, many will suffer, Adams said.
"There are no places left to cut where there will not be harm," he said.
Even after taking in millions of dollars in new revenue from tuition increases and new fees charged to students, UGA administrators have pared more than $100 million in spending over the past couple of years, Adams said.
And no one can say yet just how deeply administrators will be forced to cut, Adams said.
The legislature still has not set a final funding figure for higher education, and university system officials have not decided what UGA's share will be, he said. In addition, the state Board of Regents, the appointed body that governs the state's 35 public colleges and universities, is likely to approve a tuition hike at its next meeting in April, he said.
"I don't think that there's much chance that tuition won't be up again this year," Adams said.
Adams did not rule out the possibility that the UGA Athletic Association will chip in more for academics. The Athletic Association, which has millions of dollars in reserve accounts, last year agreed to donate $2 million a year for three years to help out in the funding crisis.
"We have some ongoing discussions," Adams said.