Wright State University Staff Council Minutes
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
The WSU Staff Council met on Wednesday, June 3, 2009, at 2:30 pm, in Room 248 University Hall.
Present: Council Members: George Collins, Mary Healea, Joanie Hendricks, Fran Keeley, Curt Pederson, Vickie Slone, Michael Sullivan, and Chris Wydman; Convener, Bill Rickert
Guests: Keith Ralston, Associate Vice President, Budget Planning and Resource Analysis
Bill Rickert introduced Keith Ralston, Associate Vice President for Budget Planning and Resource Analysis, to speak about the Budget Presentation that was given at the Board of Trustees Meeting on May 28, 2009.
Keith said that the State of Ohio’s Operating Budget for the next biennium, which is July 1, 2009 – June 30, 2011, has not been released. It should be approved by
July 1, 2009. Governor Strickland’s proposed budget favors education, which the Governor sees as part of the solution for the future in Ohio.
The recent WSU Budget Presentation can be viewed on the Budget and Resource Analysis website. WSU’s Budget was put together on the Governor’s projections of a shortfall of $10-12M. Higher Education could lose even more during the process.
A variety of strategies are being used to balance the WSU budget in difficult times.
The $10-12M cuts to be made in the budget over the next two years have been discussed with the VPs and Deans. To help ease this process, the university has hired the Employees Preferred Corporation (EPC) to create a Voluntary Separation Incentive Plan that should reduce the workforce while minimizing the need for layoffs. It is estimated that 700 WSU employees will be eligible for this incentive plan, and that 120 of these employees will likely sign up for it. The university is hoping to identify the participating employees by August 31, 2009. Afterwards, many of the vacated positions may not be filled or can be filled at a lower level and salary.
In response to a question whether the undergraduate tuition will increase, Keith said that the State of Ohio has not yet approved any undergraduate tuition increases at its state universities. The graduate tuition at WSU will increase 4%, however, and housing costs will increase.
Keith was also asked if the university will offer only the HDHP for next year, and he stated that there were no such plans for the near future. He also said the university may rebid for the health insurance provider in the near future in order to assure a competitive rate.
Keith was also asked about the impact semester conversion will have on the budget. He said that revenues are likely to be affected by a surge in enrollment just before the start of semesters, followed by a decline at the start, but they should even out over time. Also, retention is usually better at semester schools. The motivation for the semester conversion was that the Chancellor suggested all State of Ohio universities should go to semesters by September 2012. http://www.wright.edu/admin/bpra/budget.html
Keith encouraged everyone to look at the budget presentation online, or to email him questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. He left the meeting at 3:33 pm.
2. Agenda for June 10, 2009 Staff Council Meeting:
In addition to the annual Summary of the Staff Council’s prior year accomplishments, Joanie Hendricks identified three items for the June 10 agenda:
- President’s Awards for Excellence Committee as a subcommittee of Staff Council
- Unclassified-hourly employees
The meeting was adjourned at 3:40 pm.