After surviving repeated budget cuts since 2009 totaling close to 25 percent, the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will layoff 18 employees and sell 602 acres of research farms and timberland to make cuts levied by the state for the fiscal year beginning July 1.“We’ve worked hard over the past three budget cycles to make these drastic cuts without employee layoffs,” said J. Scott Angle, CAES dean and director. “We have had massive response to retirement incentives, which coupled with natural attrition reduced our workforce by 355 positions.” The latest cut to the college’s Agricultural Experiment Stations and Cooperative Extension Service budgets was more than the college could absorb. “We have eliminated every inefficiency we could find,” Angle said. “We redesigned our Extension delivery system to maximize every dollar and every employee. We leveraged every research grant, and we just came up short.” After examining and prioritizing the college’s programs, Angle decided to close several research programs, further tighten select county Extension offices and sell valuable farmland to be able to make pending cuts. “We have to look at these budget cuts as permanent,” Angle said. “It’s clear we won’t be able to rebuild any of our programs in the near future, so we must reduce our workforce, programs and infrastructure to match our new budget realities.” Land for Sale, Programs ClosedEarlier this year, the college listed an 80-acre parcel of pasture and timberland outside of Griffin, Ga., for sale. On May 23, the college offered the 522-acre Plant Sciences Farm in Watkinsville, Ga., for sale, too. In addition, the college will close the peach research facility at Byron, Ga., and pecan pest management, horticulture research and plant pathology programs at its campus in Tifton, Ga. It will also make further staff reductions on the Griffin and Athens campuses. “We chose to eliminate programs that were low priorities within the departments and programs where relevant, reliable information was available to clients from another CAES department or from USDA,” Angle said. Angle said highly publicized tuition and student fee hikes left many legislators and taxpayers with the impression the university wasn’t really cutting the budget. “Not only has the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences taken bigger cuts and lost more positions than the rest of the university over the past three years, the cuts are real and permanent for us,” Angle said. “Unlike other colleges within the university that can offset budget cuts with tuition increases, we benefit very little from tuition.”The ag college is funded differently from other UGA colleges because Cooperative Extension and Agricultural Experiment Stations are separate state budgets from the university’s instruction budget. Those two organizations’ funds make up the majority of the college’s state budget allocation. Neither gets any funding from university tuition.“Making permanent decisions like selling land and laying off employees are never easy decisions,” Angle said. “But, we are out of options. We must make decisions that will help us function effectively long-term as a much smaller college.”
Oklahoma leads the nation in the percentage of households with cell phones only, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than a quarter of households (26.2 percent) in Oklahoma had only wireless and no landline phones in 2007. On the other end of the spectrum, only 5.1 percent of households in Vermont were wireless-only in 2007.The report from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, “Wireless Substitution: State-level Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, January-December 2007,” is the latest report on wireless substitution in the United States.”These findings are important to CDC because many of our largest surveys are done on calls to landline phone numbers. All of those adults with only cell phones are being missed in these surveys,” said Stephen J. Blumberg, health scientist with CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics and lead author of the study.In addition to Oklahoma, states with the highest percentage of wireless-only households are Utah (25.5 percent), Nebraska (23.2 percent), Arkansas (22.6 percent) and Idaho (22.1 percent). States with the lowest percentages, following Vermont, are Connecticut (5.6 percent), Delaware (5.7 percent), South Dakota (6.4 percent) and Rhode Island (7.9 percent).The report also shows the percentage of adults who use only wireless phones is also highest in Oklahoma (25.1 percent) and lowest in Delaware (4 percent). The District of Columbia also had a high percentage of adults who use cellphones only (25.4 percent).The percentage of wireless-only phone use among households and adults varies greatly within regions. For example, in the Midwest, the state that has the most wireless-only households, Nebraska (23.2 percent), borders the state with the least, South Dakota (6.4 percent).Results from previous CDC reports on wireless substitution show wireless-only phone use continues to grow on a national level. A recent report found that 17.5 percent of U.S. homes had only wireless telephones during the first half of 2008 — nearly 3 percentage points greater than the estimate for 2007 (14.7 percent). The percentage of adults using only wireless-only phones also grew from 13.6 percent in 2007 to 16.1 percent in the first half of 2008.The full report is available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr014.htm(link is external).CONTACT: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Center forHealth Statistics Office of Communication, +1-301-458-4800/PRNewswire-USNewswire — March 11/SOURCE Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Sunderland are banking on the guide of Dick Advocaat to save them from relegation after the English Premier League strugglers appointed the Dutchman as head coach until the end of the season on Tuesday.The club, who sacked Gus Poyet on Monday following a poor run of results that culminated in a 4-0 home thrashing by Aston Villa on Saturday, are one point and one place clear of the relegation zone with nine matches remaining.”Sunderland is a big club and I am very much looking forward to the challenge ahead. We must now concentrate on Saturday as a priority and I can’t wait to get started,” the former Dutch national coach said in a statement on the club website (www.safc.com).Sunderland chairman Ellis Short said: “Dick has an incredible CV and vast experience of managing at the very highest level. We have one aim only now — to climb the table and everyone is fully focused on the task ahead of us.”Poyet departed following a run of one win in 12 league matches which has left the club in danger of relegation after eight seasons in the Premier League.Advocaat’s immediate aim will be to win at West Ham United on Saturday. The 67-year-old becomes the oldest manager in the Premier League but has no previous experience of working in England, although he did lead Rangers to successive Scottish titles in 1999 and 2000 and is one of the most experienced and respected coaches in the game.As well as coaching the Netherlands, he has also coached the national teams of the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Belgium, Russia and Serbia.At club level, he has coached Borussia Moenchengladbach, Zenit St Petersburg, AZ Alkmaar and PSV Eindhoven as well as Rangers.But his appointment represents something of a gamble for Short because, historically speaking, changing managers so late in the season, rarely has any major effect on the team.Since the Premier League started in 1992-93, only 14 managers have been appointed on March 17 or later while all six clubs who were in the relegation zone when the new man came in still went down. Advocaat had been out of a job since last November following an unsuccessful four-month spell in charge of Serbia. He quit after a 3-1 home defeat by Denmark left them with only a forlorn hope of reaching next year’s 24-team tournament in France.