In the past year, questions and rumors have circulated campus in regard to university layoffs, a lack of raises and numerous other items related to the university budget.
As a result, Ohio University faculty members are in crisis mode and the university administration is saying everything is fine. That’s problematic.
It’s time to start having an open conversation about the budget to ease the disconnect. The conversation surrounding the budget should be one of openness and transparency, so that everyone is on the same page and has the same understanding.
Even though the administration doesn’t peg the shrinking budget as a crisis, its persistent messaging toward faculty and students is not doing anything to relieve the fear. In fact, the fear faculty members have — a smaller budget, layoffs, department shrinkage — is now a mushroom cloud of near-panic. Faculty members are worried about job security, the fate of their departments and what that depletion means long-term.
The Post reported on in August, and the numbers don’t lie. OU budgeted its operating results for $51 million, which toppled almost 50 percent from last year, when it forecasted $101 million. The budget froze raises for faculty and projected no new net revenue for this year, which is a cause for concern.
Other are dealing with those problems in some form as well. We understand Ohio University’s budget is only one of the components of how administration helps those on campus. There are many projects the university is tackling: more academic programming, infrastructure and diversity initiatives. But money helps all of that.
The faculty and administration have a disconnect. The administration is pushing a mentality of hope in these harder times for OU. But instead, it’s coming across as ignorant. Let’s bridge that gap with not only better communication, but with realism too.
Editorials represent the majority opinion of The Post's executive editors: editor-in-chief Elizabeth Backo, managing editor Kaitlin Coward, digital managing editor Hayley Harding and senior editor Marisa Fernandez. Post editorials are independent of the publication's news coverage.