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April 11, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Funding cuts affect depts

The athletic department is not the only area on campus that has had to deal with budget cuts. Ever since Ohio Gov. Bob Taft announced the 6 percent budget cut for higher education last June, the affects have been felt campus-wide.

One department to take a big hit was the English department, which had to cut secretarial hours last semester and funding for department functions such as advising.

“What we ended up doing was cutting a deal where we lost half a secretary and $15,000,” said Thomas Lee Wymer, chairman of the English department. “It’s one of those things that happens when funding tightens up.”

Even though the cuts were made, Wymer said the department has still been running smoothly and no classes were affected by the cuts. Also, he doesn’t think the department will ever gain back what it lost.

“As far as the secretarial loss, it was clear that we could not expect this to be returned,” he said. “This is just one more thing that we’re supposed to do more with less.”

One thing Wymer said he is concerned about is the staff within the department. He said a cut like this could lead them to wonder what may be next, especially as far as jobs go. He hopes that morale does not go down.

However, the concerns of the staff have yet to affect their teaching or work with the students.

“As far as I know, this hasn’t spilled over to the students,” Wymer said. “I haven’t heard any reason to believe it’s affected our work.”

According to John Folkins, University provost, the English department’s staff and others do not have to worry about their jobs, as the University has not laid off anyone due to the tuition hike and does not plan to.

The English department was not the only one on campus to have funds cut. Donald Nieman, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences said a majority, if not all, did.

Within the College of Arts and Sciences, about $450,000 was cut, which according to Nieman was more than any other college on campus, mainly because it is the largest college.

In order to decrease department losses, the College of Arts and Sciences left five vacant secretarial positions open and reassigned staff members who were in areas with a full staff.

“We had five secretarial positions vacant and those were all in areas where we really had to replace the person,” Nieman said. “We looked at the college as a whole to see which units were most amply staffed as far as numbers in relation to the mission of that unit.”

There were also some faculty positions left vacant, but it hasn’t caused any cuts in classes offered to students within the college.

“There were some faculty lines that were left vacant, which I really hated to do. I wanted to minimize that,” Nieman said. “We want to provide our students with the highest possible education.”

The departments that did lose secretaries in the repositioning have felt the losses, Nieman said.

“In the units where secretaries were moved, the other secretaries are doing a little bit more or some things that were done before are not being done now,” he said.

The state budget cuts and the subsequent University cuts will affect students more than the faculty and staff in the long run, according to Wymer.

“That’s maybe one of the saddest things about the whole system,” he said. “Students pay the most.”

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