Wright State trustees have approved the FY 2019 budget by a vote of 7 to 1 with one board member not at today’s meeting.
Trustees voted on the budget, which projects a $10 million decrease in revenue after, presentations from president Cheryl Schrader, chief business officer Walt Branson, a discussion and a brief question and answer session with the public.
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Here are five things this news organization has learned about possible layoffs and budget cuts:
1. LAYOFFS COMING
Wright State University is again planning to lay off employees this year as part of budget cuts. As many as 40 employees could be laid off, said WSU president Cheryl Schrader. That number could change though, depending on attrition, Schrader said.
“We would expect the actual notice numbers to be much less,” she said.
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2. REVENUE NEEDS TO GROW
The latest round of cuts prompted criticism from trustee Bruce Langos ,who is one of many Wright State leaders who have said the university cannot cut its way to prosperity. Growing revenue needs to be a bigger priority, Langos said.
“It is a recipe for disaster, we have to focus on turning ourselves around, not taking more cuts because its just not going to work,” Langos said about the FY 2019 budget proposal. “I’m so concerned about revenue.”
3. ENROLLMENT SLOWS
Enrollment is still expected to be a problem for Wright State next fall. It’s bad news for the financially troubled school as tuition and fee revenue is the largest single source of money for Wright State and most other colleges. There is a 6.5 percent overall decline projected for enrollment, and 32.4 percent decrease projected for out-of-state students.
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4. NEW STUDENT FEES
The WSU administration is also asking trustees to approve a new $25 career services fee per semester, said chief business officer Walt Branson. The fee will be used to improve offerings from Wright State’s career center.
“This does not result in new net fee revenue for the university,” Branson said. “We’re required to have additional services that are required by these fees.”
5. AVOIDING FISCAL WATCH
Schrader told trustees she believes the university will avoid fiscal watch. But, Schrader said that this year’s budget cannot function like previous ones as university went over budget by millions of dollars every year from 2012 to 2017.
“We have come a long way toward righting our financial ship,” Schrader said. “Of course there is still work to be done.”
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