YSU announces budget-balancing plan

Youngstown State University today announced a comprehensive plan to address a $6.6 million budget deficit.

“Three consecutive years of enrollment declines, combined with consistent reductions in state operating appropriations, has resulted in a significant structural budget deficit that requires us to immediately implement cost savings measures,” President Randy J. Dunn said. “These measures, while extensive, will allow us to balance our budget without impacting academic and student services.”

Actions include:

  • All discretionary spending across the university (i.e. travel, equipment, etc.) is frozen unless expressly approved by division vice presidents. Projected savings: $2.9 million.
  • Operating budget reductions across campus, ranging from office supplies and printing to postage and maintenance costs. Projected savings: $1.4 million.
  • Reduction in technology expenditures, significantly deferring or delaying infrastructure updates (i.e. servers, electronic switches, phone systems, etc.). Projected savings: $750,000.
  • Personnel reductions, including layoff of five full-time and four part-time non-faculty employees. Projected savings: $663,000.
  • Improved enrollment in Spring semester 2014. Projected to generate $315,000 in additional revenue.
  • Overhead from campus auxiliaries (i.e. Kilcawley Center, housing, etc.). Expected to generate $300,000 in additional revenue.
  • Voluntary furlough or vacation day givebacks. Employees across campus will be asked to voluntarily take non-paid furlough days or to voluntarily give up vacation days. Projected savings: $230,000.
  • Reductions in energy usage across campus, including possible power-down over holiday week in December. Projected savings: $150,000.

In the past two fiscal years, YSU has lost $16 million in revenue due to decreased enrollment and state allocations. This current fiscal year, tuition/enrollment revenue and state funding are down an additional $4.2 million.

“We have reached a critical crossroads,” Dunn said. “These actions, developed through an extensive, six-week contingency planning process, are necessary to balance the fiscal year 2014 budget and to begin to address the structural challenges we have in the university’s revenue-and-spending model.”

The president said the plan was developed in a manner for minimal impact on academic programs, student services and personnel. He said layoffs in the plan are unfortunate and difficult, but needed to structurally reduce expenses and maintain the fiscal health of YSU.

“We are a human capital enterprise and human resources are the most important ones we have,” he said. “I understand the personal financial difficulties that are felt by employees impacted by these actions.”

Dunn also emphasized that, despite the fiscal challenges, YSU remains a vibrant and progressive educational institution. “Students – the reason we are all here – will feel very little, if any, impact whatsoever by these actions,” he said. “YSU will continue to provide the high quality educational services that are so vital to our students’ success.”