The University of Akron announcing a three-year plan to address financial concerns...and that means some 40-million dollars in budget cuts that'll cut 215 non-faculty jobs and end UA's baseball program.
UA vice president for advancement Larry Burns says that the nine month budget process ended up out of balance.
"And as we looked into the budget, it became clear that we had a 60 million dollar difference in balancing the budget," Burns tells WAKR.net. "So, that was a major concern, a lot of debt that the university has."
Burns says the baseball program ended up on the cutting block because the University of Akron can't afford needed renovations to the baseball facilities.
"Our baseball facility, you might know, needs a great deal of capital investment, that the university is not in a position to do," Burns tells WAKR's Sam Bourquin.
Also ending, non-academic programs at E.J. Thomas Hall that aren't rented to outside providers. And dining services will be outsourced.
The 40-million dollars in cuts are part of a plan to close a projected 60-million dollar deficit. The rest would come from recently announced student fees and projected enrollment growth by the third year of the plan.
(University of Akron) University of Akron (UA) President Scott Scarborough announced today a three-year plan to address the university's significant financial challenges.
The plan was drafted following a 9-month review and analysis of University finances. Leadership of the Faculty Senate, the campus chapter of the American Association of University Professors, and a representative of department chairs, participated weekly in the budget process that led to the development of the plan.
"The University of Akron's future is bright, but first we need to fix its finances," President Scarborough said. "Our review indicates UA has a $60 million financial problem, and we have developed a three-year plan to solve that problem."
The plan protects the University's core academic mission, its quality, and its connectedness to the community and the region it serves. It reduces University expenses by $40 million, raises graduate tuition and undergraduate fees by $10 million, and projects profitable enrollment growth in the third year of the plan by $10 million.
UA Board of Trustees Chair Jonathan Pavloff said, "These actions reinforce our ability to invest in those things that move our University forward on the path to significance and strength."
The $40 million of expense reductions include the following:
Eliminating 215 positions via a planned reduction in workforce. No faculty layoffs are occurring.
Eliminating non-academic programming in EJ Thomas Hall, except for rentals.
Outsourcing dining services.
Renegotiating healthcare plans.
Increasing the cost share of retiree dependent coverage.
Changing the University's retire/rehire policy.
Centralizing course scheduling.
Reducing central costs, such as legal fees and University memberships.
"The most painful but necessary reduction is the abolishment of filled positions," said Scarborough. Affected employees will be notified later this month, after the University ensures it has complied with all applicable government regulations and contractual agreements.
"We are working hard to ensure that our colleagues whose positions will be eliminated are shown the respect and courtesy they deserve," Scarborough said. "We owe them our thanks and appreciation for their years of service to the University."
The University's financial plan and budget funds new college strategic plans, leverages UA's historic strengths, funds new initiatives to grow future revenue streams, and includes funds to maintain and enhance academic quality consistent with its goal of becoming a great polytechnic university like Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech.
In a message to campus, Scarborough said, "We know that the next few weeks will be tough. After that, we will refocus our efforts on the mission ahead—to become a great public university for all of Northeast Ohio and the world."