Education

University of Akron to Cut $40M in Costs, 215 Jobs

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AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron today announced it will cut expenses by $40 million over three years, eliminate 215 jobs and the school’s baseball program, and raise tuition.

Scott L. Scarborough, UA president, said three-year spending and revenue plan addresses the university’s “significant financial challenges.”

The $40 million expense reduction plan was drafted following a nine-month review and analysis of university finances, the university said. 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,” Scarborough said in a statement. “Our review indicates UA has a $60 million financial problem, and we have developed a three-year plan to solve that problem.”

The announcement emphasized that the plan “protects the university’s core academic mission, its quality, and its connectedness to the community and the region it serves.”

Said Jonathan Pavloff, chairman of the board of trustees, “These actions reinforce our ability to invest in those things that move our University forward on the path to significance and strength.”

In addition to reducing expenses by $40 million, graduate tuition and undergraduate fees will be raised by by $10 million, and the university projects profitable enrollment growth in the third year of the plan by $10 million.

“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.

The $40 million of expense reductions include the following:

  • Eliminating 215 positions through a planned reduction in workforce.  No faculty layoffs are occurring.
  • Eliminating baseball.
  • Eliminating nonacademic 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.

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.”

Source: University of Akron

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.