YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A total of 15 people will be laid off and 43 vacant positions at Youngstown State University will be eliminated as part of a $3.8 million budget reduction plan.
In a news release issued by the university on Thursday, the plan calls for a reorganization of staff that was part of the university’s $173 million fiscal year 2015 operating budget approved earlier this week.
Forty-three positions were removed entirely from the budget and 15-non-teaching staff will be laid off.
“Three years of enrollment decline and the continued loss of state funding support represent permanent challenges that have resulted in a structural deficit in the university’s operating budget,” said Ikram Khawaja, interim president.
Khawaja said the reductions alone will not solve the university’s budgetary problems, and that personnel costs make up more than 70 percent of YSU’s general fund operating expenses.
State funding and tuition revenue at YSU has decreased by $19.5 million over the last three years, and those loses could increase to $22 million next year.
The university still faces a budget shortfall of about $7 million. Neal McNally, interim vice president of Finance and Administration, said further reductions in personnel are possible.
“The university cannot continue to operate in an environment of deficit-spending where expenses are significantly greater than revenue,” said McNally.
Since 2012, the university’s operating budget has been reduced by $8 million, the release stated.
YSU-ACE President, Connie Frisby issued a statement saying the cuts are “destroying the careers” of 15 of its members for a “temporary patch” in the university’s budget woes.
Nine YSU ACE members, 2 APAS members, and 4 Exempt employees received their notices on Wednesday, June 4 that they would be laid off. Frisby said YSU officials told them additional cuts would take place in July. Frisby said the university is “trying to balance the budget on the backs of the employees” and that the university continues to “supplement athletics from the general fund at a staggering figure.”