University of Central Oklahoma to Address Budget Deficit Without Cutting Current Faculty

KOKH-OKC - May 4, 2022 6:07 am

The University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) announced that it will address a $15 million budget deficit for the 2023 fiscal year without cutting any currently filled full-time faculty positions.

University officials said the budget planning process included discussions of possibly eliminating some vacant and filled faculty positions to both address the budget deficit and increase a low student-to-faculty ratio stemming from declines in enrollment.

Students protested over the potential of dozens of professors being cut.

“We knew going into the planning process there would be tough decisions to be made as we worked to address the university’s budget deficit, particularly related to faculty positions at the university,” said UCO President Patti Neuhold-Ravikumar. “Academic Affairs leadership, the college deans, and the President’s Cabinet have worked diligently to minimize the loss of jobs while working to erase this deficit. My deepest gratitude is extended to these leaders who courageously led through this process. Thanks to our collaborative efforts, no filled faculty positions will be eliminated from the budget for the 2023 fiscal year.”

Neuhold-Ravikumar said the university will continue to face challenges but these steps will be best for the future.

The university now awaits its final appropriation amount to be determined by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. That’s expected near the end of the legislative session on May 27 after the state budget is approved.

In a bid to help reduce the budget shortfall, the university said it will eliminate 30 vacant faculty positions, change its budgeting practices for carryover funds and ask for a tuition increase of 3% or $6.82 per credit hour.

For a student taking a course load of 12 hours, that works out to an increase of just over $81 per semester.

Neuhold-Ravikumar said the university will continue to face challenges but these steps will be best for the future.

The university now awaits its final appropriation amount to be determined by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education. That’s expected near the end of the legislative session on May 27 after the state budget is approved.

 

 

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