Ohio U Professors Point to Athletics & Admins re: Budget Issues

Posted on:

< < Back to

ATHENS, Ohio — The Ohio University chapter for the American Association of University Professors (OU-AAUP) on Monday released research suggesting the university’s financial aid should come from Ohio Athletics as opposed to its academic departments.

“Athletics typically runs an annual deficit in the range of $20 million,” according to OU-AAP. Their research further asserts, “Like the amounts channeled toward administration, the money devoted to athletics does not go directly toward the University’s core mission of teaching and research.”

The document also states while faculty salaries have remained relatively flat, it is the increase in administrators and their salaries that could be, in part, to blame for the current budget issues.

“In addition to earlier large increases, the years since roughly 2010 have seen a 45 percent increase in [full time equivalent] FTE administrators per FTE student.”

(Read: Ohio University President Receives Raise)

The information presented in the research was the crux of Thursday’s OU-AAUP meeting where those in attendance discussed possible courses of action should cuts disproportionately affect faculty.

Details presented at that meeting noted, among other things, that Ohio University’s tuition is at least $2,000 more expensive than that of Ohio State University, Kent State University, and the University of Cincinnati.

OU-AAP members are to meet with the university about their concerns later this week.

You can read through the OU-AAUP’s document by clicking this link: Ohio University’s Budget Crisis – Analysis and Proposals (OU-AAUP)

As previously reported, the university is asking its colleges to help make up a $19.3M shortfall initially outlined in a projected budget of the next four years. Administrative units were asked to cut 5 -10% from their own operational budgets.  Academic units were asked to look at ways to do more with less. Those contingency budgets were due Friday, November 15.

Although those “efficiency plans” were not approved, by the university, as definite courses of action for the future they were used by a group of  administrators tasked with helping the university achieve one if its strategic initiatives.”The Reimagining the Academic Enterprise leadership team met on Saturday to discuss the planning exercises submitted by all units,” Ohio University spokesperson Carly Leatherwood said.

Vice President for Student Affairs Jason Pina, College of Business Dean Hugh Sherman, Vice President for Research and Creative Activity Joseph Shields, University College Dean Elizabeth Sayrs, Chief Strategy Innovation Officer Brad Cohen, and co-chairs Deputy Chief Strategy and Innovation Laura Myers, Associate Provost for Academic Budget John Day and Executive Vice President and Provost’s Chief of Staff Cary Frith are a part of that committee.

Leatherwood wrote, “The meeting was informed by data submitted by the colleges and administrative units, but the intention was not to come out of that meeting with immediate action items.”

The university is hosting a listening session Thursday, November 21, 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. in Baker Center to solicit ideas from students, faculty, and staff on how best to position Ohio University for the future.

This story was updated to correct who attended the weekend work session.