Wright State University will eliminate 71 currently filled positions under a budget proposal released today by the school's finance committee.
Those positions will include about 24 classified staff members, approximately 43 unclassified staff members, and about four faculty members, according to interim president Curtis McCray, who also proposed the university cut close to 107 positions that are currently vacant or will be vacant by the end of June.
Eliminating the currently held and vacant positions would save the university a total of $14.1 million in salary and benefits, McCray said. Around 65 percent of the proposed eliminated positions are considered administrative positions, McCray said.
"Eliminating someone's job is not an easy decision," McCray said in an email to the university. "Many of you who will be affected have performed excellently and may have not caused our budget problems. For these reasons I am very sorry and personally wish we had not come to this moment.”
Originally WSU officials were considering eliminating between 80 and 120 positions, meaning the number of layoffs will come in under previous estimations.
I'm glad to see that. Only with open and clear conversation can we reverse the errors of the past and emerge stronger. https://t.co/S609JUiv5A— Cheryl B. Schrader (@WrightStatePrez) May 19, 2017
Eliminating the currently held and vacant positions would save the university a total of $14.1 million in salaries and benefits, according to McCray.
Another 14 currently filled full-time positions will have their hours reduced.
The budget proposal also includes $8 million in savings through operational changes affecting every unit on campus. These changes include reductions in travel, professional services, student employment, repairs and maintenance, and some scholarships and fellowships. The athletic department plans to eliminate both the men's and the women's swimming and diving teams.
Despite the elimination of the two swim teams, the proposed budget shows an increase of $1.6 million in funding for the athletics budget. It also shows the department have the lowest personnel spending reduction of any department at just $191,000.
Both of the university’s swim teams have been cut to save $500,000.
This media outlet is seeking comment on why spending will increase in athletics as cuts are made in other areas.
The university said the 38 swim and diving team members will be able to keep their scholarships if they decide to remain at Wright State and the athletic program would retain its NCAA Division I status despite the cuts.
In addition, the university expects to save $6 million from last year's voluntary retirement incentive plan and $2 million through other attrition from the 2017 budget.
Mergers of colleges or divisions and centralization of certain services are not part of the proposed 2018 budget, but are being explored as the university seeks to increase efficiency and eliminate duplication of services, according to McCray
The 2018 budget will be voted on June 8 by the Board of Trustees and layoff notices will go out the week of June 12.