Campus Money Faculty Senate continues months-long conversation about budgetary concerns By Emily Zeiler Posted on March 3, 2020 4 min read 0 0 184 Ohio U President Duane Nellis addressing Faculty Senate in March. Photo by Emily Zeiler. Ohio University President Duane Nellis and Executive Vice President and Provost Chaden Djalali discussed the university’s plan to alleviate its recent financial woes at Monday’s Faculty Senate meeting The university is looking at a 5% cut to the budget this coming academic year, which is about $8 million, according to Nellis. The Ohio U Board of Trustees has allotted the institution $65 million of its reserves to aid future academic and financial restructuring plans, Nellis said. To increase enrollment, the university plans to roll out new scholarships for out-of-state students, launch an Ohio U esports team and reform its general education program to enhance curriculum for future students. “It looks like we’re trying to emulate places that are not Ohio University,” said Julie White, an associate professor of political science, who is concerned about Ohio U losing its liberal arts roots. Final decisions about the budget have not been made yet, but the university must reduce spending in departments where there is little student demand and invest in areas where there is interest, Nellis said. “These are changes that need to be made and it’s painful,” Nellis said about the situation. Jacqueline Wolf, a professor in the department of social medicine, raised concerns about how the administration has answered the faculty’s questions. “We’re asking concrete questions, but we’re not getting concrete answers, and it’s concerning,” Wolf said. “If it was an easy solution, we wouldn’t be talking about the budget,” Djalali responded. Faculty are also concerned about administrators’ high salaries and a lack of financial cuts to athletics. The Senate also passed a resolution to have the administration increase transparency and prioritize working with faculty on budgetary issues. The resolution passed in hopes that including the faculty on budget decisions it will allow for “the university’s educational mission be prioritized so that the budget cuts have minimal impact on teaching and the delivery of curricula across the university,” according to the resolution. In other business: Ohio U is working on a plan in the event of a coronavirus outbreak in Ohio. The body passed a resolution to support the recognition of the Classified Employees of Ohio U as a union.