Slippery Rock University facing $10 million deficit, possible layoffs
Slippery Rock University is in danger of a $10 million deficit and layoffs for the 2014-15 school year, administrators warned.
“We've always managed to find ways to save $2 million, $3 million, $4 million,” said university spokesman Karl Schwab, citing utility reductions and other costs management measures in the past. “But now we've done all that, it's the end of the line. Now it's finding what you have to do to save $10 million, and that's a big, big chunk of money.”
University President Cheryl Norton last week presented the university's financial forecast to the board of trustees and blamed a growing deficit on decreasing enrollment, stagnant state funding and rising costs, including contracted salaries and employee health care.
All university divisions are being asked to cut operating costs by 9 percent, according to the university.
Schwab said that only one professor took a voluntary layoff, which the university is calling “retrenchment.” Eight other employees moved into other positions once others retired or left the university.
Norton in September said the university, with nearly 8,700 students, could run up a cumulative deficit of nearly $29 million by fiscal year 2015-16. She said this year's freshman class is 8 percent smaller than the previous year's. She expects that trend to continue.
Norton asked faculty and staff members and students to submit ideas on how to cut costs.
Some of the ideas have been implemented, Schwab said, including “Fleece Friday,” in which those on campus are encouraged to wear sweaters or heavier clothing as heat is turned down in buildings to save on utility costs. Other ideas are still being examined.
Slippery Rock's financial woes aren't unique among the 14 schools in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
Edinboro in October said that it would cut about 40 faculty positions, and Clarion University said it would cut nearly 40 jobs and several bachelor's degree programs.
Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates show depth in earning victory over Rockies; Polanco has big night
- Healthy, confident Steelers LB Shazier ready for full speed ahead
- Daily Courier columnist knew, loved Connellsville community
- Earlier start, free meals among changes as Connellsville Area schools start Monday
- What’s gained at push of a button
- Columnist knew, loved community
- FDA’s revised serving sizes on nutrition labels might backfire as endorsement
- Paving, electronics upgrades evident at Steel Valley
- Timing drives former KHL star Plotnikov
- Grant to benefit W. Mifflin airport
- Mon Valley steelworkers rally for new contract