Recently, Wittenberg University's Board of Trustees announced a plan to cut almost $5 million from the budget over the next four years. The university's president, Dr. Laurie Joyner believes that the school is on the right track to overcoming a $7 million budget deficit and developing a plan to make the school stronger in the future.
Joyner says that Wittenberg is facing the same type of fiscal problems that most institutions of higher learning are dealing with. And the same types of significant challenges.
"Essentially, the challenges that we face are a shrinking high school population, a struggling economy, and families who are becoming increasingly price sensitive," Joyner said.
The university has cut courses, staff and faculty to deal with its fiscal problems. Joyner feels that a plan has been put in place to deal with these issues.
"We're bringing together a group of talented faculty and staff members to start thinking about how we can change our curriculum, how we can have clearer pathways to graduation and figuring out how we can partner with other institutions locally and globally," Joyner said.
Joyner says that Wittenberg will always attempt to provide a wide offering of courses, while also delivering a strong liberal arts education.
"If you talk to CEO's of large companies there has been study after study that shows the sorts of learning outcomes that are best developed through a broad-based education including things like critical thinking and problem solving and effective communication skills. Those are exactly the kind of skills that one secures through a liberal arts education," Joyner said.
Wittenberg's budget cuts will leave the university with a deficit of slightly more than $2 million. The school will need to find more cuts or develop new revenue to balance its budget in the next four years.