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From the Editor's Desk: Understanding the budget crisis

Since the end of last semester, there has been a lot of buzz around campus surrounding the alleged budget crisis that Ohio University is facing. 

Around campus, students could see papers around campus that stated “Top 10 OU Fun Facts about Ohio University” with facts about when OU was founded, the tuition, budget issues and the number of faculty and staff employed at the university. The OU Fun Facts group is made up of OU students, faculty and staff.

The group marched on campus at the end of the semester, starting the rally at the Civil War Soldiers Monument and ending at the Culter Hall stairs, demanding to meet with Nellis. OU Fun Facts has also hosted round tables to discuss the university’s current budget situation and the goals of the organization.

The OU American Association of University Professors, or AAUP, is another group that has been raising awareness about the budget crisis and the concerns over possibly losing their jobs. The AAUP hosted a rally by the monument on College Green before the end of the Fall Semester. The group also held a silent protest during the main meeting for the Board of Trustees last Friday.

As all this has been circulating around campus in the past couple of months, there has also been a lot of confusion. Many students have been wondering what they can do to support their professors and other faculty and staff of the university. However, they do not understand the university’s budget and the issues surrounding it. 

There are two sides to the budget issues the university is facing.

For the university, it is required to make changes for it to be successful moving forward. Enrollment is down for the university, which means less money is coming into the university. Those in charge of planning have to adjust the budget to make up for the money the university is losing. 

On the other side, OU faculty and staff members are worried about what this means for their jobs as well as what programs will still be available for students. 

This week, we decided to explain the budget, the groups involved and other issues to help our readers get a better understanding about the budget crisis. 

In our print edition this week, we have articles including the Board of Trustees recap from last Thursday and Friday, a breakdown of OU’s budget and more about the AAUP and its mission. 

One reporter recapped the Thursday and Friday Board of Trustee meetings in which the board said the university's financial position is strong. Another reporter took the almost 200-page university budget and condensed it to one article. Another reporter was also able to talk to members of the AAUP to understand its goals and what it wants from the university. 

Our staff is creating a landing page that will be updated with articles as we continue to follow this topic. We are hoping some of the articles will help clear up some questions people have been asking and that our readers continue to read our content as we continue to report on the budget, AAUP and OU Fun Facts. 

Ellen Wagner is a senior studying journalism at Ohio University and the editor-in-chief of The Post. Have questions? Email Ellen at ew047615@ohio.edu or tweet her @ewagner19.

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