FAIRBORN — Wright State University announced on Thursday that it is beginning the process for cutting back on its faculty workforce. The anticipated job cuts for faculty are due to financial problems caused by low enrollment and exacerbated by the COVID-19 crisis, the university said.
“Certainly, this is not an easy decision for the university, and I assure everyone it is a decision we do not undertake lightly,” said Wright State University President Sue Edwards in a statement. “The university has, for many months, been actively considering in good faith whether the need for faculty workforce reductions could be alleviated through normal attrition or other alternatives.”
The university reported an enrollment of just over 12,000 students for the fall semester to the Ohio Department of Higher Education. The university’s overall enrollment has declined by more than 30 percent over the last five years.
The Board of Trustees approved a Fiscal Year 2021 budget with expected revenues of $210 million in June, down from $257 million in Fiscal Year 2020. In his comments during the budget presentation in June, the last year, Chief Financial Officer Burhan Kawosa noted that Wright State has seen a 22 percent decline in enrollment in the last year.
“Similar to other universities enacting faculty workforce reductions, Wright State has navigated dramatic changes within higher education while also managing the impacts of the unprecedented COVID-19 public health emergency,” the university said in a statement.
Currently, Wright State is still early in the process and complying with the faculty union Collective Bargaining Agreement. Faculty affected by the workforce reduction will receive up to 18 months of notice along with workforce displacement support the university has previously provided to other laid-off employees.
Wright State emphasized that the expected changes are to ensure uninterrupted quality education for students enrolled at the university.
“It is important to highlight that no students enrolled in their current major will lose the opportunity to complete their degrees as a result of these reductions,” the statement added.
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