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Education

University of Akron Trustees Approve a Plan to Deal With a Troubled Budget

Roland Bauer and Ralph Palmisanso
TIM RUDELL
/
WKSU

The June trustees meeting was the last for outgoing chairman, Jonathan Pavloff, whose term ends June 30th.  New Chairman Roland Bauer was sworn in; he had been vice chairman.

The board also approved a $300 million general fund budget for 2017.  It is trimmed from last year to reflect a downward trend in enrollment. 

Projected undergraduate numbers could be down as much as 9 percent. University spokesman Wayne Hill says that’s partly because of fewer freshmen applying, but also because of the unusually large graduating class Akron had this year. 

Hill says more staff cuts are not in the offing.

“The enrollment drop we projected to account for about $20 million. And, as the board and administration and others thought about the budget for fiscal 2017, (they) determined that we would try to avoid layoffs. So none are contemplated.”

In a budget plan approved by the trustees Wednesday, the university will restructure some of its debt to save several million dollars a year in interest payments. But for the majority of the money needed to cover shortfalls, it will tap its reserve fund, which currently stands at about $243 million.