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YSU expects to lay off 15 people as part of reduced budget



Published: Wed, June 4, 2014 @ 12:10 a.m.

By Denise Dick

denise_dick@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

A Youngstown State University trustees committee approved a $173 million operating budget for fiscal 2015 that includes permanent layoffs of 15 people in what’s expected to be only the first round of cuts.

The plan also includes permanently eliminating 43 position vacancies.

Each of the university’s divisions was assigned a reduction target, and half haven’t met it.

Academic Affairs got the highest target — $7.5 million — and has achieved 13 percent of that goal. Hitting the target is going to be arduous.

“To hit our target, that’s 65 faculty positions — which means eliminating a college,” said Teresa Riley, interim provost. “That’s how drastic it will have to be.”

The budget plan is 2.3 percent less than the 2014 oper- ating budget, a reduction attributed to lower enrollment — a trend that began in 2011 — and its effect on both tuition and state funding.

The budget was approved Tuesday by the Finance and Facilities Committee with only Trustee Harry Meshel opposed. It still must be approved by the full board of trustees, expected to vote on the resolution June 18.

The reductions included in the plan cut YSU’s general-fund deficit to $7.1 million, down from $10.8 million at the start of the budget planning process.

The university’s budget development council, a group that includes members of the administration, made a series of recommendations to reduce YSU’s budget. Neal McNally, interim vice president of finance and administration, said the most significant of those recommendations was to require each division of the university — president’s office, finance and administration, advancement, academic affairs, student affairs and intercollegiate athletics — to permanently reduce expenses.

Each division was given a target, based on its share of the FY 2014 general-fund budget. The lowest target, $280,600, was assigned to the president’s office, based on its 2.6 percent share of the general-fund budget.

Academic Affairs’ target was based on its 69 percent share of the general-fund budget.

“To date, significant progress has been made at meeting these targets,” the budget document said. “Nearly $2.5 million in expense reductions have already been implemented and are included in the FY 2015 budget. And an additional $1.3 million in reductions have been identified and will be implemented during the first quarter of FY 2015.”

McNally said it may take time to achieve all of the targets.

Trustee Ted Roberts said the board needs to focus more on tackling the deficit.

“The board for the last several years has deferred these difficult decisions,” he said.

McNally said those decisions are being made.

“This includes the layoff of 15 individuals in the first round,” he said, noting another round may be needed.

There is a price to pay in the loss of personnel, though, in terms of productivity, McNally said.

“As we shed positions, we’re going to be asking people to do additional duties,” he said.

McNally said the round of layoffs, which follows the loss of nine positions this past fall, is expected to begin within the next two months.

The budget process was a serious undertaking, but even so, it achieved reducing the budget by only about one-third of what’s needed, McNally said.

“Another round of similar action will be needed,” he said.


Comments

1Knightcap(699 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

From the beginning of the year to current the deficit has been said to be 6 million, 8 million, 10.7 million. That should be known exactly what it is. If department heads can't figure out how to cut there department expense than they should be the first to be let go. If the budget is 173 million and you go by the highest reported deficit of 10.7 then it shouldn't be that hard to figure out what to do. With the reduction in students a reduction in administration and staff is needed. If you don't want to let people go take a 6% wage cut and contribute 25% toward health-care. In the private sector layoffs and wage cuts do happen as well as health-care contributions are close to 25%. Why not try to lower tuition to see if that increases enrollment.

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2redvert(2064 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Oh no Knightcap, they must raise tuition! After all, the students now have the distinction of having the "most honorable" Jim Tressel as president. This alone should justify a 10% increase in tuition.

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3theguins(169 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Layoffs are needed but most of the layoffs will come at the expense of the most recently hired employees. Time to put in a years of service or age limit with employees. It's been 30 yrs. since graduating from YSU and when I return for alumni functions I see the same old faces that were there when I was a student. Retire already. You should have enough stashed away to survive the remainder of your life plus you will be getting a nice retirement from PERS or STRS.

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4Seriouslee(100 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Knightcap: I agree. It's amazing how the deficit numbers seems to change magically overnight it seems, and yet no one questions this. If in fact, they've gone from 6 to 10 million shouldn't some reporters be asking some questions? Two of the three presidential candidates even noted this discrepancy in their presentations(the ones who were not chosen) and Gary Miller in particular seemed generally confused as to how they arrived at that number.

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5Tigerlily(488 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Seriouslee, you would think that reporters would be frothing at the mouth to find out why they've gone from 6 to 10 million deficit seemingly overnight, but you would be assuming that we have a local newspaper that does investigative journalism, and that cares about finding the truth. The Vindy only cares about reporting whatever is uttered out of YSU's marketing department's mouth, as if that is the truth instead of spin-talk to the community at large for the board of trustees.

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6DwightK(1256 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

You'd think high unemployment, a lack of jobs for people without skills or education and the realization that no one can succeed in this economy without furthering their education would mean YSU enrollment is increasing.

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7handymandave(474 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Under King Obama's economy those fortunate to have a degree are in about the same boat as those without one. Neither will do well in the next two years until this joke we have for a president ( and yes I am referring to Obama, not Tressel) is out of office.

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8gdog4766(1495 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Yeah because under Dunce Bushs economy jobs were bountiful,the stock market reached all time highs and we were at peace with the world! Sorry just using rescumlican history and memory.

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9HonestAbe(274 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

georgej...what a lame, stupid, insensitive comment. You have NO idea who these people are...what their work ethic is/was, and/or the service they provided to the university. Don't ever assume anything, because, after all, it's what they say, you make an A$$ out of yourself when you do.

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10gdog4766(1495 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

You notice none of these people are outraged or upset that Kasich has succeeded in tearing down YSU. Changes in the way the state funds state universities and reductions in funding are causing great harm to our state colleges. And not one idiot on here has said a thing about that. The board of trustees haven't done one thing to defend their school and have simply helped the executioner.

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11Seriouslee(100 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Abe, georgej is just repeating the sentiments of DeSouza that we are sure to hear every week throughout negotiations.

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12Seriouslee(100 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

And how exactly does it make sense to allocate cuts based on each division's share of the total budget? Obviously, academics is the highest expenditure--it's a university (allegedly anyway). Wouldn't it make more sense to prioritize, then make cuts accordingly? Oh wait, if they did that academics would get hit even harder, since it seems to be the lowest priority.

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13Tigerlily(488 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

King Obama is the problem? Are you serious, gdog? You clearly don't understand that YSU is a STATE university, and that governor Kasich has changed the funding formula for public universities in Ohio that has forced them to get the money they need to operate from increases in student tuition (note that he is who gives state universities permission to do so, and every year he does!), as well as from cutting faculty, staff, and other employees, just to keep running. It's a shame that some people can't come out from the shells of their political identities for just an instant to observe some FACTS.

And as for you, georgejeanie, what a ignorant person you are. The people who have been laid off are middle management and staff members, apparently, who work 40 hours a week, or MORE. Clearly you're a hater of faculty, which you assume don't work 40 hours a week, just because they're not in their classrooms 24/7. As if they don't need to prep for classes, plan lessons, gather materials, write BOOKS so they can continue on in their positions as relevant EXPERTS in their fields, so that the education they provide your children is actually valid!

Ignorant people who don't understand what universities are and how they function should shut their pie holes, and go back to watching Fox news, and thinking it's actually news.

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14Seriouslee(100 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Well said Tiger! Of course the BOT doesn't understand how real universities function either.

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15gdog4766(1495 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Hey tiger lily, read the above post closely because I didn't say a word about President Obama and basically stated the same you posted. And from what I'm hearing this is just the start. Kasich wants to tear public education in this state down to nothing. That way he can give cronies and flunkies more tax breaks.

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16Tigerlily(488 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

gdog, sorry, I meant handymandave, the comment above yours!

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17gdog4766(1495 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Your an azzhall

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18JohnQPublic(5 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

WHO IS THE BUDGET DIRECTOR THERE THAT MISSES A DEFICIT PROJECTION BY OVER 68%? DOESNT SOUND LIKE THE INTERIM VP OF FINANCE IS AS QUALIFIED AS HE THINKS. NEXT!!!!!

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19southsidedave(4780 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I feel for the people losing his or her job and this comes as Tressel takes over - interesting.

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20notyouraveragejoe(3 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Hey Joe, name calling doesn't speak highly of one's IQ.

At least I won't have to listen to your type of ilk anymore.

Kasich has set us free!

Please join me and the rest of 422 in resiting the words of the great MLK.

'Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.'

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21notyouraveragejoe(3 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Hey Joe, you know how these keyboards get with fat fingers and all.

Reciting!

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22notyouraveragejoe(3 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Hey Joe, just one more thing before I go. Now that you don't have any, ahem, work ties to the valley, you're free to take your talents to South Beach!

Then perhaps the whole valley can join along with the 422 in once again reciting the great words of MLK.

'Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.'

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23jgm820(115 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I said it a few days ago - how about offering an early retirement? There are a LOT of people who fall in the range.

Let's clear out some folks willing to go, instead of picking off people who just happen to fall at the bottom of the seniority list.

Out of the 15 people, I'll bet the total money saved doesn't average $40K apiece. That is a one time savings. The fat isn't in administrative support or faculty folks....

As far as people having to get a "real" job - that is an asinine statement.

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24Guin96(40 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I agree with jgm. You can say what you want about our previous administrations but at least they did everything they could to avoid layoffs. Early retirements helped a lot. Also restructuring. I know several people whose jobs were abolished and they were placed into other positions so they wouldn't be laid off. Where's the human factor in all this? There doesn't seem to be any consideration for people now. Dr. Khawaja's recent statements about the budget show no concern for the people losing their jobs. It's hard to watch administrators being hired at higher and higher salaries while they lay off the lowest levels

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25HonestAbe(274 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

And NOT ONE of those high paid administrators was touched....NOT ONE!!!!!

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26jgm820(115 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

The budgets of two recruiting areas which start with "A" completely ignored...do some research and see what you find about the travel budget for Athletic recruiters, vs. the travel budget for Admission recruiters.

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27handymandave(474 comments)posted 3 months, 2 weeks ago

TIGER, YOU MISSED MY POINT SO I'LL GIVE IT TO YOU AGAIN. UNDER OBAMA'S ECONOMY, WHAT JOBS DO YOU THINK THESE PEOPLE WILL BE ABLE TO OBTAIN? HE IS A JOB DESTROYER, COUNTRY DESTROYER, AND TERRORIST COLLABORATOR. I DON'T CARE WHETHER YOU'VE GOT A DEGREE OR NOT THEY'LL STILL BE PART OF THE UAW ( U AIN'T WORKING.)

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28Hmmmmm(48 comments)posted 3 months, 1 week ago

Comments are made about administrators being highly paid and not affected by the current job losses. I would really like to see the numbers on the administrators ,, how many of them , pay, benefits ,in relation to other State Universities the same size,, thank you

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29CountryGirl51(197 comments)posted 3 months, 1 week ago

Maybe they can think about tossing out a few perks for the President of the University. With the amount he makes do they really need to give some of the extras. Housing i can understand but some of the others...no

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30lemmingsfollowblindly(33 comments)posted 3 months, 1 week ago

Basketball Coachs office just got a few brand new 70 inch flat screen TVs for their office today..Makes me wonder where my tuition money really goes???

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31CountryGirl51(197 comments)posted 3 months, 1 week ago

Thats rediculous ! Its spending like that , that has them in the hole !

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32lornadune(5 comments)posted 3 months ago

How about if you look at the athletic rosters posted to the athletics website - 305 athletes divided by 10,000 full time equivalent enrollment (institutional research) so 3% of students are athletes. FY 14 budget - transfer from general fund $9,058,162 and another $1,000,000 in September. That equates to every single student being charged $1,000 a year to support an athletic program that only 3% of the students participate in. How many jobs that support the academic mission of the University could be saved with that $10,000,000?

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33HSG(123 comments)posted 3 months ago

Athletics at YSU has long been something of a soft touch for those who care on those who don't. Undergrads shouldn't have to pay five cents toward athletics at the university level. The practice is probably illegal.

Ysu has been administratively top-heavy for generations, while using high school teachers to deal with night students and non-traditionals! So-called adjunct faculty have been helping to keep costs down since the Viet Nam era.

The same people who like this arrangement have begun to complain about egcc's presence, since egcc actually WANTS under achievers and works with these kids appropriately.

Ysu is a nearly prefect reflection of the community it serves; bloated, pretentious, and archaic; luckily new leadership has arrived to help persuade an unusually gullible public that athletics and phony ad campaigns actually help to provide for a better education!

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