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Institutional Realignment Plan

Frequently Asked Questions

HR Furlough FAQ

Workforce Reduction FAQ


Instruction and Programming

General Questions

Why is UWO taking these steps?

UWO’s Institutional Realignment Plan is designed to stabilize, reshape and position UWO for
future growth.

Through a series of strategic steps, the University will transform its operations to best meet the
needs of students and instruction while remaining financially responsible and within budget.

To address a nearly $18 million budget deficit we will examine our programs, reorganize units
and teams, align with current regional needs and better-size our staff and administration to
serve our student population.


Specifically, what steps are you taking?

  • Furloughs–A tiered system of furloughs from September to June will impact faculty and
  • Layoffs–a plan is being developed. The process framework has been shared and is
    available at the workforce reduction page.
  • Voluntary retirement–a retirement incentive program was announced in the spring for
    eligible employees.
  • Hiring/recruitment–we have put a freeze on position recruitment. Necessary positions
    must have approval of campus leadership to advance to recruitment.
  • Budget cuts–2% reduction was put in place for the FY24 budget; another may be
  • Instruction–We will examine teaching loads and take other measures to ensure classes
    are available to students.


A thank you; pay plan update - Nov. 3, 2023

Conclusion of a hard week, the road ahead (Oct 20, 2023)

A message of reassurance: We are dedicated to your success (Oct 19, 2023)

View Older Communications


Financial Assessments

A third-party reviewer has completed financial assessments of UWO. Universities of Wisconsin, which funded the reviews, released the resultant reports on April 11, 2024.

Current State Assessment

Opportunities Report

How did UWO get in this position?

  • The population of traditional college-age students is declining as is the percentage of those potential learners choosing college.
  • COVID-19 has lingering impacts on enrollment.
  • Tuition was frozen for a decade.
  • Cuts in state funding require us to trim our budget.
  • Inflation continues to drive up costs of all products and services, increasing our operational costs for things such as heating, electricity and maintenance.
  • The job market remains strong, particularly in UWO’s home region, prompting students who may have sought a college degree to move directly into good-paying jobs post-high school.

Is UWO in danger of closing?

No. We are taking these steps now to emerge stronger and better prepared to provide the education and support that will allow for the continued success of our students. Our institution, as evidenced in reports and data, such as the First Destinations Outcomes Report, does a tremendous job preparing students for their next path, whether that is employment, continued education or advancement in their current positions.

Workforce Reduction FAQ

When will I know if I’m being laid off? What process will be used to determine lay-offs?

UWO has gathered shared governance leaders’ input to inform a workforce reduction process framework. More information is available at this link.

How many people are being laid off?

Layoff totals will be determined through the workforce reduction process. The University has a deficit of $18 million and is instituting furloughs, budget cuts, the VRIOP, and layoffs to achieve a balanced budget.

Will some UWO departments and units have more reductions than others, or is this an across the-board layoff?

This is not an across-the-board layoff. Reductions and impacts on departments, units, colleges and divisions have not yet been determined.

How much money are you saving by laying off employees?

The university’s deficit is approximately $18 million. Layoffs help eliminate this deficit, but UWO will first take into consideration the savings from the VRIOP, furloughs and program efficiencies.

Will laid off employees have an opportunity to apply for other positions? Can they be hired back?

We have instituted a freeze on hiring at least through November. Further details related to reemployment will be provided at a later date.

Voluntary Retirement Incentive Options Program (VRIOP) FAQ

How many people are enrolling in the VRIOP?

We will not have an answer until the Sept. 15 filing deadline.

Do the retirements impact the UWO budget this fiscal year? Next fiscal year?

The program includes a one-time payment to those retiring. This means the program’s fiscal impact will not be entirely realized until fiscal year 2025, which begins July 1, 2024.

Will positions open due to early retirements be replaced? How will the institution determine what positions will be replaced?

We will evaluate open positions and determine: if we need to replace the position, if the duties can be reassigned, or if the service provided by the position is no longer needed by the University. This is a process followed annually as UWO’s workforce organically ebbs and flows.

Instruction and programming

Will this impact available classes? Are you cutting programs?

The university is committed to doing all it can to shield students’ learning, campus experiences and overall success at UWO. We are not cutting academic programs as a component of the Institutional Realignment Plan.

Are you cutting faculty positions?


Will IAS be laid off as a result of the workforce reduction planning being done in the fall?

IAS are out of scope for the workforce reduction planning workshop in September and subsequent layoff notices that are anticipated to go out in October. This does not mean that IAS are not subject to employment changes as the needs of our workforce continue to be analyzed. Most IAS are on fixed-term terminal contracts, which have no expectation of continued employment when the contract expires. It is possible that some IAS will not get a rehire contract or may go through non-renewal as a means to right size our instructional workforce. These decisions are being managed within each college and with oversight from the deans.

Do you have a question about the Institutional Realignment Plan?

We want to hear it. Please fill out the form.




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Oshkosh, WI 54901

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