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DDN: Wright State trustees to discuss 2019 budget, student fee increase

Excerpt from the Dayton Daily News

Wright State University’s board of trustees on Friday will consider several major items during its monthly meeting.

WSU president Cheryl Schrader and chief business officer Walt Branson will present the university’s fiscal year 2019 budget proposal to trustees during the meeting.

A preliminary budget has already been shared with trustees and the general public and further details will likely be released the morning of the meeting, spokesman Seth Bauguess said. An agenda is the only document currently posted on Wright State’s board meeting website.

Wright State is aiming to add $3 million to its reserve fund in FY 2019 but to do so school leaders will have to find a way to boost revenue or implement more budget cuts. Trustee Bruce Langos criticized the university’s preliminary 2019 budget in late May, calling it a “recipe to die” among other things.

The $3-million goal is part of Wright State’s ongoing attempts to rebound from a budget crisis that forced trustees to slash more than $30.8 million from the school’s FY 2018 budget in June 2017.

As of May 21, Branson said the university was on track to add $7.2 million to its reserves by June 30, surpassing its goal of adding $6 million, Branson has said.

If Wright State is able to reach its June 30 goal then the university may be able to avoid being placed on state fiscal watch. Under fiscal watch status, WSU trustees and administration will have to adopt a financial recovery plan with an eye toward ending the status of fiscal watch within three years, according to state law.

Friday’s meeting agenda also states that trustees will consider an increase to student fees. No details on the potential fee hike are included in the schedule.

In a closed door meeting on Friday, trustees also plan to discuss ongoing contract negotiations with Wright State’s faculty union.

The previous union contract expired last June but an agreement with the administration means the expired contracts will remain in place until a new one is reached, Martin Kich, president of the WSU chapter of the Association of American University Professors has said. Union members have threatened to strike if a deal on a contract is not reached.