The Student Titan Employment Program (STEP), the University Studies Program (USP) and faculty and staff equity-based compensation adjustments remain priorities in the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s 2014-15 budget plan.
With the campus community’s guidance, leaders also made difficult decisions in closing its approximately $3 million share of the UW System’s biennial budget shortfall.
UW Oshkosh was required to send its 2014-15 budget plan to UW System by April 1. From input gathered after late-February budget forums and from divisional and governance leaders, UW Oshkosh developed a biennial budget plan reducing its base budget by approximately $3,036,000. That total represents the institution’s share of the UW System’s $62 million shortfall for 2014-15. Factoring in its $2.5 million in ongoing and enhanced funding commitments to the STEP, USP and compensation priorities, the University faces a more-than $5.5 million ongoing funding challenge in the 2014-15 fiscal year.
UW Oshkosh remains committed to maintaining the number of classroom seats for students, but, for a limited number of courses, fewer sections will be offered. Some vacant faculty and instructional academic staff positions will not be filled; the final number of positions impacted will, in large part, depend on fall 2014 enrollment data. While layoffs of ongoing, contractual employees are not part of the budget-reduction plan, some temporary employees will not be offered additional, temporary employment during the 2014-15 academic year. These reductions will mean fewer staff members to provide much-needed support for our record number of students. Additionally, supplies and equipment budgets in various departments will be cut and will become increasingly dependent on one-time funds. Those are just a few of the significant, negative consequences resulting from the difficult budget decisions.
“I am proud that we remain committed to funding for STEP, USP and equity-based compensation adjustments,” UW Oshkosh Chancellor Richard Wells said. “I am also once again grateful for the careful thought our campus community provided in helping us address our budget-reduction challenge. Because of our investments in our priority programs and initiatives, it was important that we, together, made the decisions that led to our necessary budget reductions and sacrifices.”
UW Oshkosh will cut $2,368,000 of ongoing expenditures as one element of its required budget reductions. The University is electing to close the remainder of its share of the UW System 2014-15 budget shortfall with approximately $668,000 in one-time funding, with hope that the 2015-17 biennial budget support from the state will help address that ongoing shortfall. A breakdown of the 2014-15 planned budget reductions is as follows:
- Academic Affairs: $1,650,370
- One-time funding: $667,157.
- Administrative Services: $465,723.
- Student Affairs: $176,885.
- University Advancement: $44,965.
- Chancellor: $30,900.
“We appreciate the guidance of faculty and staff members, students and shared governance leaders,” UW Oshkosh Provost Lane Earns said. “We have carefully developed our budget plans with great weight given to our long-standing principles that value employees and processes, respect our teaching and broader University mission, and stay true to our strategic plan and established priorities.”
The Board of Regents will submit its 2015-17 budget proposal to the governor in early fall this year. The Governor will then present his biennial budget proposal to the legislature in February 2015. The State Legislature will submit budget recommendations to the Governor late-spring 2015. That will be followed by the Governor’s approval by July 1, 2015.