President Elson S. Floyd and Provost Executive V.P. Warwick Bayly field
questions about the final budget at forum, 10 a.m. at Compton Union
Building Auditorium (Photo by Becky Phillips, WSU Today)
 
 
PULLMAN – WSU will cut about 359 vacant and currently filled jobs universitywide, will eliminate three academic programs and will employ a number of administrative cost-cutting measures across the university to reduce its budget by 10.38 percent or about $54 million for the upcoming biennium.
 
The final budget plan was announced by President Elson S. Floyd and Provost and Executive Vice President Warwick M. Bayly in an e-mail letter to all employees and student on Tuesday. A presentation and forum on the budget, hosted by Floyd and Bayly, was held Wednesday morning in Compton Union Building and video-streamed.  A video of the fourm will be available soon online at experience.wsu.edu.
 
Job reductions in the budget include 167 vacant positions that will be eliminated. Another 192 faculty and staff positions will be impacted; most of those jobs are currently filled, but some have been vacated by recent retirements, or will be affected by reduced appointments and various types of separation agreements.
 
The university plans to provide at least a 90-day notice to permanent staff who are given notice of separation. The university employs more than 6,200 people statewide.
 
“This has been a long, thorough and inclusive process. The final decisions, however, remained very difficult. We have tried to be sensitive to the disruptions caused by job losses and closing worthwhile programs, but there are no real alternatives when faced with a cut of this magnitude,” Floyd said.
 
The administration was able to preserve some jobs through the creation of WSU excellence funds through which the president, provost, deans, chancellors and vice presidents have agreed to contribute an aggregate level of 5 percent of their base salaries, or about $330,000, to the university. Floyd said WSU faculty and staff also are welcome to participate in this initiative; however, their participation is not being counted upon to balance the budget at this time.
 
For Floyd, the contribution will be in addition to his $100,000 salary reduction, to $625,000, he imposed starting Jan. 1, 2009.
 
One of the four academic programs – sport management – that was targeted for elimination in the university’s preliminary budget plan has been given a reprieve. The department will remain in the College of Education while a review is conducted regarding its permanent academic home.
 
Three other programs – the Department of Theater and Dance, the major in German and the Department of Community and Rural Sociology – will be eliminated. Students currently majoring in fields that are eliminated will be provided access to courses to allow them to complete their degrees, but new students will not be admitted.
 
The university announced a preliminary budget plan on May 1, shortly after the Legislature approved the higher education budget for the upcoming biennium. Since then the president and provost have held two public budget forums, have met with a variety of groups and individuals from around the university and have gathered feedback through the University Budget Committee’s website.
 
A complete unit-by-unit breakdown of the budget reductions is available at http://suggest.french.wsu.edu/main/BudgetPlanFinal.aspx
 
The new budget will go into effect on July 1.