Sequestration cuts take a more than $25 million bite out of UAB research, health care dollars

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By: Evan Belanger

Federal sequestration is digging deep into the pockets of the University of Alabama at Birmingham's research and health care missions.

UAB President Ray Watts said this week the federal spending cutbacks that took effect in March are costing the university $15 million annually in federal research dollars.

They're also costing the school's health care operations between $10 million and $12 million annually, he said.

"We obviously are working with our delegation and others in Washington to emphasize how important investments in research and health are," Watts said. "And we understand the importance of the budget deficit, but not all priorities are the same."

"We just want to make sure that they understand that for every dollar that we invest, we get multiples of that in return and so does the nation."

Upon taking the reins at UAB in March, Watts said the university would, if required by sequestration, dip into its reserve funds to maintain research and staff levels.

He said this week the university has been forced to "make adjustments" fiscally as a result of sequestration by reducing expenses where possible and focusing "on our best priorities."

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