Miami University has plans to lay off 40 staff members this summer.
President Gregory Crawford sent an email to staff on Thursday announcing the need to eliminate the positions, effective July 1, citing financial pressure and the need to provide affordable education for students.
“These are difficult decisions that are very hard to deliver. Unfortunately, they are necessary to fortify the financial health and advancement of Miami,” Crawford wrote. “We must also continue to ensure student affordability through increased investments in scholarships and new academic programs that are aligned with the interests of tomorrow’s students. To remain a nationally recognized university, we must continue to evolve and seek ways to further strengthen Miami.”
University spokeswoman Claire Wagner told the Journal-News faculty are not included in the layoffs, so class offerings will not be impacted. Miami employs about 4,200 people.
Ohio Sen. Bill Coley, R-Liberty Twp., who has been working with the university on the new Work+ college-workforce partnership program, said the university is looking to save money by outsourcing some services like maintenance and health programs.
“Different universities have found ways to cut down on their operational costs by farming stuff out,” he said. “Maintenance is huge. Universities typically have health centers, a place where students can go, do they want their own employees to do that or do they just want to just contract that out?”
Crawford said the administrative staff began discussing reallocating resources over the next five years last year. In December he said the board of trustees agreed to accelerate plan “to increase our investment in student scholarships and new academic programming.”
“With the higher education landscape shifting so rapidly, we must act decisively to continue our commitment to providing an exceptional and innovative learning environment,” Crawford wrote. “These reallocations will provide Miami the opportunity to strategically advance into the future.”
Wagner said a tuition hike wasn’t considered because “the university’s priorities for students include keeping Miami as affordable as possible.”
She said Miami is very “tuition-dependent” because only 9 to 10 percent of the operating budget comes from the state. She said the university provided $6.1 million in aid to needs-based Ohio students this year and that will continue.
Enrollment at the Oxford campus last fall was 17,327 undergraduates and 2,607 graduate students. Regional campuses in Hamilton, Middletown, and West Chester enroll 4,664 combined.
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