Western Oregon University Board of Trustees Approves 2020-21 Preliminary Budget

Posted on June 11, 2020

Western Oregon University – 06/11/20 9:57 AM

MONMOUTH, Ore. — The Western Oregon University Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved a preliminary 2020-21 budget with the understanding that it will be adjusted in the fall to address a projected deficit of $8.79 to $10.44 million.

The range depends on factors related to the COVID-19 crisis, including funding shortfalls from the state of Oregon, reduced sports lottery and significantly lower university revenue. Declining enrollment also plays a role, which was the case before the pandemic.

“We are faced with a huge number of financial challenges right now,” said President Rex Fuller. “However, Western Oregon University continues to be committed to providing our students with an excellent and affordable education. We strive to address our budget issues with solutions that will position the university for continued success.”

The university recently addressed a $1.3 million deficit for 2019-20 fiscal year (ending June 30) with the elimination of vacant staff positions, layoffs of classified staff, non-renewals and salary freezes of unclassified staff.

Also at the meeting, Public Affairs and Strategic Initiatives Associate Vice President David McDonald provided the board with a COVID-19 Legislative update outlining the university’s partnership with Polk County, the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon’s six other public universities to develop a reopening framework. That framework is being applied at each campus.

“Our WOU committee of 20 members from across campus meets weekly to progress through our planning matrix; we take action where we can and prepare for other steps as we await updates from the governor.” McDonald said. “We are dedicated to the health and safety of our students, employees and community members as we continue to move forward.”

At the meeting, the board also:

  • Approved a Bachelor of Applied Science in Professional Studies in the Deaf Community. The Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU) will be notified of these changes.
  • Approved a Bachelor of Science in Cybercrime Investigation and Enforcement. The program will be submitted to the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) and NWCCU for approval.
  • Reduced WOU President Rex Fuller’s salary from the FY2020 level of $282,896 to the FY2018 level of $248,000, effective July 1, 2020 and running through June 30, 2021.
  • Extended current chair Betty Komp’s role as chair another two-year term, effective July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022.

Visit wou.edu/board for additional information about the June 10 board meeting.

About Western Oregon University

Western Oregon University, founded in 1856 in Monmouth, is the state’s oldest public university. Serving almost 5,000 students, WOU is a mid-sized, NCAA Division II institution with about 70% of the student population being from Oregon. A significant portion of attendees are members of under-represented groups, veterans or non-traditional students. WOU is Oregon’s campus of choice for those seeking a transformative education in a supportive, student-centered learning community where classes are taught by faculty. Together we succeed.

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