Wright State 2018 Budget Proposal Details Impending Staff Layoffs, Job Cuts

May 19, 2017

Douglas Fecher, vice chair, Wright State University Board of Trustees. Fecher is also president and CEO of Wright-Patt Credit Union.
Credit WYSO/Jess Mador

The Wright State University board of trustees finance committee Friday announced details of a long-awaited budget proposal. The 2018 budget calls for eliminating 71 employees -- fewer than many feared -- and more than 100 additional vacant positions.

More than half the job cuts would come from administrative positions.

Approximately two dozen are hourly positions, and more than 40 are salaried staff. Four positions would be faculty members. Officials say another 14 current full-time employees will see their hours reduced.  

Employees whose jobs are being cut will be notified beginning the week of June 12. Officials say all displaced employees will be invited to a career fair scheduled for June 27. The school is also offering employees job search assistance, wellness and coaching services.

Wright State officials say eliminating current and vacant positions would save the university more than $14 million in salaries and benefits.

Electrical Engineering Department administrative assistant Vickie Slone has been with Wright State for 18 years.
Credit WYSO/Jess Mador

Electrical engineering department administrative assistant Vickie Slone has been at Wright State for 18 years.

She says she hopes the board of trustees will consider preserving staff seniority protections as they move through the budget process.

“We are all behind Wright State. It’s been unfortunate what’s happened with the financial issues but we are hoping that we can pick all the pieces up. We’ve kicked the can down the road for two years at this point ,and now it’s become worse than what it should have been. We are hoping that we can just finally say, please, let us know what is going on and we can go from there.”

The 2018 fiscal year budget, beginning July 1, also includes cuts to university operations. The proposal would cut more than $30 million to balance Wright State’s budget and add $6 million in reserves.

Interim president Curtis L. McCray first announced the job cuts in an email May 19 to Wright State staff and students. 

In the letter, McCray said the decision to eliminate employees was difficult, but necessary to put Wright State on a sustainable financial path.

"The budget proposal aims to put Wright State University in a stronger financial position and ensure we can continue to provide an excellent and affordable education to students," McCray said. "Although these cuts are painful and in some cases unfair, the university's mission of transforming the lives of our students and communities is vital," he wrote.

Wright State’s ongoing financial crisis has already forced previous layoffs and program cuts. The university is on track to overspend its budget this year by about $40 million.

University officials say they’ll spend the next few weeks collecting input on the draft budget from faculty, staff and students.

The board of trustees is expected to vote on a final budget at a public meeting June 8. 

See the budget proposal at wright.edu/bot.