WSU president: ‘Few choices’ but to cut

Email sent ahead of university Finance Committee meeting tomorrow

Wright State University has no choice but to implement workforce cuts and other budgetary restrictions, WSU President Sue Edwards is saying in a new campus-wide email.

“A confluence of declining enrollment projections and shrinking state support have left the university few choices but to pursue continued expense and workforce reductions so that Wright State can continue to serve the Dayton region and the state of Ohio,” Edwards said in the email.

The email did not offer a projected or estimated number of cuts. Instead, it pointed to discussions with university unions.

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In a Finance Committee meeting livestreamed late last month, WSU trustees heard a range of annual budget deficit projections for the university, from $11 million to nearly $50 million, with the latter projection tied to enrollment falling to 10,000 students — or lower.

Wright State has more than 11,000 students today. However, university officials also emphasized last month that all projections are fluid, and that while a deficit is expected, it’s not expected to be as high as $50 million.

“As you may know, we are and will continue meeting with multiple campus constituencies as we work through this situation,” Edwards said in her new email. “Those meetings have included conversations with our three labor unions (Fraternal Order of Police, Teamsters, and AAUP-WSU) in an effort to clearly communicate the gravity of our financial situation and pursue common ground that might lead to financial compromises.”

Edwards said the university proposes “mid-term bargaining” with the AAUP-WSU and FOP unions, while “continuing conversations” with the Teamsters.

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Said Edwards: “We are looking forward to constructive conversations and creative solutions as we work together with all of our valued campus partners.”

The Wright State Finance, Audit and Infrastructure Committee is scheduled to meet Friday.

Wright State shared the email with the Dayton Daily News Thursday. Questions have been sent to the university about the number of expected cuts. This story will be updated.

Last month, the University of Dayton said it had furloughed 450 employees and laid off an additional 60 employees.

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