University develops plan to balance budget

Youngstown State University Board of Trustees reviewed a plan today that addresses a $7 million deficit and balances the university’s general fund budget.

The plan calls for not filling more than 70 vacant staff and faculty positions and the controlled use of university reserve funds to help fill a budget shortfall caused by a 15-percent cut in state funding and an unexpected 4.3-percent drop in enrollment this fall.

“The budget challenge that we face this fiscal year is significant, but we have a plan in place that will allow us to balance the budget and, at the same time, continue to maintain and enhance the university’s academic and student services,” Board Chair Sudershan Garg said.

The plan, outlined today by the YSU administration at a retreat of the Board of Trustees, calls for not filling more than 70 staff positions and approximately 10 to 15 faculty positions this fiscal year. The plan also calls for the use of $1.36 million in university reserve funds.

Those steps are in addition to budget reductions made over the past several months, including more than $3 million in cuts from the general operating budget. Also, the salaries of all faculty members, classified employees and non-union professional and administrative staff have been frozen, and employee health insurance contributions will be increased starting in January. The university also announced on Thursday that the non-union staff has volunteered additional concessions totaling more than $350,000.

The budget plan assumes that enrollment will stabilize in the spring semester and grow slightly next fall due to improved student retention, recruitment and other initiatives.  It also anticipates using nearly $2.4 million in savings from the university’s early retirement savings program to help balance the fiscal year 2013 budget. Also in FY 2013, the budget includes $200,000 in additional revenue due to increased efforts in distance education and online courses.

“This is a carefully crafted plan that will be monitored closely as we move forward,” YSU President Cynthia E. Anderson said. “It is imperative that we maintain a tight control on spending and enhance revenue through increased enrollment and student retention in order to transition through this difficult fiscal period.”

About Youngstown State University
Youngstown State University is a comprehensive emerging urban research university that offers over 14,000 students more than 135 undergraduate and graduate programs backed by a strong tradition of teaching, scholarship and public service. As a major educational and economic development resource in the region, YSU is known for its focus on academic research and creative programs that transform its students into successful professionals, scholars and leaders. Located in the heart of the Tech Belt between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, YSU provides opportunities for students to actively participate with accomplished faculty, often in one-on-one settings, on advanced research and creative collaborations. The beautiful 145-acre campus includes high-tech classrooms, state-of-the-art labs and performance facilities, a variety of on-campus housing options and recreational facilities among the best in the nation.