YSU slashes budget as projections decline
YOUNGSTOWN — Youngstown State University Board of Trustees approved a fiscal year 2020-21 budget that projects a 15 percent decline in enrollment, a 20 percent decrease in state funding, salary reductions, furloughs, layoffs and a reorganization of the university’s academic operations.
“This budget reflects the significant impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on our university, the economy and our students,” President Jim Tressel said. “While difficult, this plan also presents the opportunity for YSU to continue to offer a quality, affordable higher education that focuses on the success of our students and our community.”
Anita Hackstedde, newly-elected chair of the YSU Board of Trustees, added: “While these are indeed uncertain times, we commend the university for putting together a responsible, albeit difficult, budget for this next fiscal year. We also commend our employees for their understanding, their sacrifice and their continued commitment to the university’s greater good.”
The $157.9 million operating budget is $26.1 million less than last fiscal year. Major parts of the plan include:
A projected 15 percent decline in full-time equivalent student enrollment, largely due to uncertainty brought about by the pandemic. The projection, which would result in $15.1 million in lost tuition and fee revenue, is based on several variables, including new students who have applied and been admitted, as well as demographic trends.
A 20 percent or $8.8 million decrease in state appropriations, based on estimates from the Ohio Department of Higher Education.
A 12 percent or $652,000 decrease in other revenue sources, largely due to losses in investment earnings.
Undergraduate tuition increases amounting to $82 per semester (2 percent) for continuing students and $189 per semester (4 percent) for incoming students, as permitted by state law. Even with the increases, YSU’s tuition is expected to remain the lowest among comprehensive public universities in Ohio.
Spending reductions totaling $24.6 million:
Salary reductions for management staff ranging from 2 to 15 percent.
Furloughs for all classified and professional administrative union staff, resulting in a 10 percent reduction in salaries.
The layoff of approximately 40 to 60 employees; and an additional 22 positions in Athletics.
Campus-wide reductions in operating budgets.
Restructuring of Academic Affairs, including the merger of the Beeghly College of Education and the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences into the new Beeghly College of Liberal Arts, Social Sciences and Education. The restructuring results in elimination of one dean position and the consolidation of up to 18 academic departments. Charles Howell, formerly dean of the Beeghly College of Education, will serve as dean of the merged college.
Elimination of the administrative division of External Affairs, Government Relations and Economic Development.