Common Staff Writer
On Friday, September 13 the Shawnee State University Board of Trustees met in regular session one of the many things on their agenda was to consider the budget proposed by university president Dr. Rita Rice Morris.
In was recently announced that Morris had proposed a budget that was reduced by $4 million or 7.3 percent when compared to previous years.
She said the reduction was “in response to a set of circumstances that have dramatically altered the university’s resources and operations.”
“Three factors have put intense pressure upon our university resources, the shift in the state funding formula to a focus upon course completion and timely graduation rates and resulting funding cuts effective this fiscal year; A change in the role our reserves play in providing our economic stability in challenging economic times; and a significant impact from a drop in enrollment this semester following a decline last year.”
On the first day of classes SSU reported having 4,300 students enrolled, representing a 6.4 percent decrease in overall enrollment.
Morris said work will be done with employees to maximize resources, but it was not made clear if the budget cuts would impact university jobs. Morris said some of the differences may not be permanent.
“Some of the changes in the FY14 budget are temporary. In the FY15 budget we will need to make them permanent, respond to any changes in enrollment and state funding, and eliminate the final portion of the budget that relies upon reserves. This means that the reductions in FY14 will be followed by further reductions in FY15 and we will also need to plan for a known $1 million reduction in funding by the State in FY16. While these numbers are large, they are not unmanageable. However, dealing with them requires many difficult decisions.”
In an effort to help understand the changes that will be occurring, sessions have been setup to allow SSU employees to ask questions and express any concerns they may have.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-1151, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.