FAIRBORN — Wright State University has announced a new wave of job cuts amid growing financial concerns.
President Sue Edwards addressed the situation in an open letter to Wright State faculty and staff on Monday.
“The pandemic has accelerated the timeframe around which we must resize the university so we can operate within the revenue generated by an enrollment of 10,000 students and ultimately ensure that we continue to serve the needs of our region,” Edwards said. “Reorganizational efforts are underway, and all departments, colleges, and units are impacted.”
Wright State is one of many universities recently impacted by significant budget cuts by the State of Ohio. Gov. Mike DeWine announced that the university would no longer receive over $3 million in funding. In total, Ohio is eliminating $775 million from its budget for the fiscal year, 60 percent of which is funding for education.
Four hundred and thirty employees are voluntarily reducing their appointments and participating in the Shared Work Ohio program. According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, eligible individuals with reduced working hours may receive unemployment benefits in accordance with those reduced hours under this program.
Thirty-five faculty members have elected to participate in the Faculty Retirement Incentive Program, and will separate from the university in the coming months. Despite these initial measures, 50 occupied positions will be involuntarily terminated.
“Some will not have contracts renewed, some are retiring, while others will be provided notice and/or other applicable options,” Edwards said.
Employees will be notified of their severance virtually via WebEx, and will receive severance materials electronically and in the mail.
Wright State says they are committed to concluding these severance meetings no later than June 18. Impacted employees will have access to career coaching, resume writing assistance, interview preparation and career learning courses through a third-party agency.
“Further, we will continue to provide access to our tuition remission benefits for two years post-employment for both employees and their dependents,” Edwards said.
“I recognize these are difficult and uncertain times for all of the Wright State Family,” Edwards continued. “We will continue to make every effort to move through these processes as diligently and compassionately as possible, ensuring that focus remains on the respectful treatment of our employees.”