Dear Wright State Community
In my message sent earlier today I highlighted that we have to be focusing on what lies ahead and plan for the future. As all are aware similarly to universities across the country, the current pandemic has disrupted Wright State University’s underlying financial condition.
However, I wish to recognize that the collective efforts of you all around current-year cost savings is having an impact. The projected FY20 deficit has almost been eliminated through drastic spending reductions, vacancy savings, and your individual efforts. If we remain diligent and determined we hope to end the year with a positive fund balance, which is absolutely essential to supporting our multiyear restructuring and fiscal sustainability plan. As a part of this overall effort I want to personally thank each and every one of the over 300 members of our Wright State University family who elected to participate in the reduction of hours through the end of July. Your personal commitment of supporting the university during this time is sincerely appreciated.
Budget planning for FY21 continues. Tuition and state support, our largest revenue sources, will be significantly reduced this coming year. Commensurately, our expenses must be lowered. To date, over $10 million in expense reductions has been identified within core university operations for the upcoming year and that work will not stop. This same effort is being applied to all auxiliary operations and affiliated entities. Wright State’s footprint will become smaller in all these areas as we move forward and that includes our Athletics program. This was discussed during the Board of Trustees meeting in May. At that time potential cuts yielding savings of nearly $1 million had been identified by the athletic director. That is significant. However, it is not enough. Additional reorganization and reduction is necessary, and Athletics has been instructed to cut a total of $2 million from their operating expense for FY21. In total this represents a reduction of nearly 20 percent in Athletics spending. The details of these and other university budget reductions will be shared in the coming days.
Going forward, we will be taking a new approach to cost savings and the way we conduct our business. Cost saving will become an actionable item and embraced as a daily effort in the upcoming year. We will all seek out ways to save. We will all search for efficiencies in the way we do our work. What’s been accomplished these past 60 days by members of the Wright State family has been remarkable, and we have demonstrated that there is no reason that we can’t continue to remain committed to each other and focused on our future of our university.
We are preparing to present the 2021 budget to the Board of Trustees meeting that will occur June 19. Please watch for communications from myself and the budget team as we move toward that date.
I again thank you for all that you do for our students and the continued success of Wright State.