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UA's $16M Deficit Could Lead To Academic Changes

The University of Akron is anticipating a $16 million operating deficit for the new fiscal year beginning July 1st.

The university attributes the shortfall partly to a downward trend in enrollment the past several years and a projected 7 percent decrease in the fall.

In order to close the budget gap, Akron's Board of Trustees approved a 5 percent decrease in operating funds for all departments Wednesday, but the university reported those cuts will not include layoffs. A 3 percent raise for non-bargaining employees was also approved. 

UA may also look to adjust its academic programs to fix what interim President Dr. John Green called a structural hole in the annual budget. 

Green said university officials have completed a comprehensive review of academic programs that will allow the school's leaders to identify programming gaps and create new offerings.

“Even though we have some financial problems, we want to take some money to develop new programs that will attract new students, programs that will fit into the changing job market," Green said, "but also we have to find ways to economize and that may be that we’ll have to have some reductions in some areas.”

Those reductions could include ending academic programs that are no longer popular because of changes in the national and state economy, Green said.

"We anticipate that over the next several years, we will be able to reduce our structural deficit and reach a point where we have steady state and even, perhaps, a growth in revenues as we attract new students to new programs," he said.

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