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Cuts at Ohio University Need to Protect Academic Mission says Economist Vedder

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Emeritus Distinguished Economic Professor Richard Vedder says Ohio University must make budget cuts in a strategic way to protect the academic integrity of the university.

Vedder outlines the economic woes that Ohio University faced prior to the hiatus caused by the Coronavirus and he details how they have been exacerbated over the past two months.

Faced with staggering economic losses from falling enrollments and the impacts of COVID-19, Vedder says that the university needs to make significant cuts in administrative personnel, athletics and expenditures on outside consultants.

He estimates that the university should lose approximately 500 positions to meet the budget crisis.

He recognizes that some faculty will be lost due to the budget shortfalls but says that faculty losses should be minimal, if possible.

Vedder claims that the economic crisis that the university was facing prior to the Coronavirus crisis was due to administrative bloat and to the diminution of the academic reputation of the university by various ranking services.

Those losses, however, have been magnified by the current disruption to the university.

He states that it will likely take several years for the university to return to any sense of normalcy. Meanwhile, enrollment may decline even further.

Vedder notes that the economic crisis to the university also impacts local small businesses and the city and county governments.

“I would not want to be the mayor of the City of Athens right now,” Vedder says.