Wright State University Is Laying Off Employees
Wright State University, a public research university in Dayton, Ohio, is slashing almost 200 positions as it struggles through budget cuts.
The university’s board of trustees has approved $30.8 million in budget cuts for fiscal-year 2018. As a result, Wright State University will be laying off 57 employees, as well as eliminating more than 100 vacant positions. A total of 189 jobs will be wiped out as part of the cost-saving efforts. (Source: “Wright State trustees approve more than $30.8 million in budget cuts,” Dayton Daily News, June 8, 2017.)
The university expects to save $13.9 million due to the job cuts. The institution’s approved budget now stands at $284.0 million. (Source: Ibid.)
The university’s management team had warned of potential layoffs and budget cuts last month. Management had indicated that 71 employees might be laid off, while a total of 178 jobs would be eliminated. (Source: “WSU hits its ‘low point’ with announcement of 71 layoffs, budget cuts,” Dayton Daily News, May 19, 2017.)
However, the final number of layoffs has turned out to be lower by 14, as several workers decided to voluntarily resign from the university before being handed pink slips. At the same time, the number of positions being eliminated is now higher by 11. That’s why the new total number of jobs to be cut is 189.
In addition to the budget cuts, the university has announced a three-percent increase in tuition fees for out-of-state and graduate students. Another measure that the university is taking in order to increase revenue is increase boarding fees, also by three percent.
Falling Enrollment Putting Pressure on School
The drastic actions have been taken partly in an effort to counter the decline in student enrollment in the university’s programs. Enrollment dropped by 2.25% in the latest academic year, and projections suggest that it may drop further this year. (Source: Dayton Daily News, June 8, 2017, op cit.)
Some Wright State University officials are arguing that the university must find a way to increase enrollment instead of making spending and job cuts. By contrast, other board members believe that the university is justified in making cuts.
The layoffs do not include any faculty members for now. However, the university is eliminating its Russian, Italian, and Japanese language courses because of low enrollments. On the flipside, the university is increasing the budget of its athletics department by $1.6 million. (Source: Dayton Daily News, May 19, 2017, op cit.)
Additional cuts in the budget could have forced the university to eliminate some degree programs and lay off related faculty.
Office of Ohio Governor John Kasich is responsible for hiring the board trustees. However, if the board fails to turn around the university’s fate, the trustees may have to face the governor’s wrath, opines the Dayton Daily News. (Source: Dayton Daily News, June 8, 2017, op cit.)