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VCU Budget Cuts Prompt Winter Shutdown

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Officials estimate the university will save $200,000 by shutting down the campus from Dec. 24 to Jan. 5, says Paul W. Timmreck, vice president of finance and administration. VCU's budget-reduction planning committee made the decision to close and intends to do the same next year, he says.

Faculty and staff will be required to take leave, with or without pay. In about 75 of the school's more than 100 buildings, the doors will be locked and the heat turned down to 50 degrees.

The exceptions are buildings that house university administration, intersession classes and labs that researchers will need to maintain experiments or care for live animals. The library, bookstore and parking decks will also remain open. Officials say they've heard no complaints thus far.

"Since the students aren't here, it's no big loss," says VCU spokesman Mike Frontiero. "We're not complaining. Forced vacation for us."

— M.S.S.

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