RENCI faces 35% budget cut, reduces staff [CORRECTED]

HPCwire pointed us to this article at Local Tech Wire, where new director Stan Ahalt is facing some serious challenges even before he shows up for his first day on the job

Stan AhaltBudget cuts within the University of North Carolina system last week took a huge 35 percent biter out of funding for one of the Triangle’s highest profile technology efforts – the Renaissance Computing Institute.

Inheriting as budget that was sliced from more than $11 million $3.8 million [subsequent direct discussions between me and RENCI indicate the actual number is about $7 million lower than reported] and a staff that will be cut by 23 people is Stanley Ahalt, who agreed to take over RENCI last month. Eighteen people were laid off, and another five positions will not be filled.

Evidently the cuts could have been worse had Duke University not maintained its level of funding. RENCI is a partnership of Duke University, North Carolina State University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the state of North Carolina.

According to the article Ahalt was aware of the cuts before he accepted the position (good job on North Carolina’s part). The rest of the article is a Q&A, and worth a read

Will RENCI seek outside funding to compensate for the reductions?

RENCI annually brings federal grant money and other funding into UNC and North Carolina – close to $3 million in FY09. We will continue to seek funding from federal agencies and from industry for projects that help us carry out our mission. A diverse RENCI funding portfolio with more dollars from federal agencies and industry is a good thing for RENCI, the universities and the state.

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  1. [...] he had just moved in to his offices at RENCI. RENCI is facing some tough times these days: a 35% budget cut was announced just days before he took the job, a result of a decline in state revenues resulting [...]

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