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University Hall. 

Worries about budget cuts and financial losses from coronavirus changes at Bowling Green State University are on the minds of faculty and staff leading up to a special meeting of the board of trustees on Friday morning.

Deans received models of likely budget cuts Monday morning, with recommendations due to Provost JoeWhitehead Jr. and Chief Financial Officer Sherideen S. Stoll on April 22.

Departments are sending out letters to colleagues in response to a College of Arts and Sciences letter from the dean detailing those numbers.

“There is no question that the economic challenges created by COVID-19 are very significant. As a result, the university is identifying a total of $27 million in permanent budget reductions in fiscal years 2021 and 2022,” wrote Dean Raymond Craig.

The loss is resulting in what is being called a “budget reduction exercise.” Proposals for voluntary cuts from departments are due to the CFO and provost April 22.

The College of Arts and Sciences is the largest college at BGSU.

“Colleges are asked to cut their budgets by 8.5%, which means $5 million for Arts & Sciences,” Craig wrote. “The $27 million number is a result of two calculations: a certain 20% cut in State Subsidy for Instruction in FY2021; and a total enrollment decline estimated to be between 5 and 10%, representing a decline in new and returning students and a likely decline in international students,” Craig wrote.

All college employees and operating budgets are funded primarily through the state subsidy for instruction and tuition revenue.

One departmental budget model includes permanent cuts broken into two rounds, over two years. Enrollment is an unknown and would impact decisions.

Departments have already had a travel freeze and dropped most replacement faculty and staff hiring searches. Use of adjunct professors appears to have also been dropped.

Internal emails show administrator furloughs and retirements were already factored into budgets prior to the 8.5% cut proposals.

The Faculty Association, which is the 750-member BGSU teachers union, is working to protect 60 Qualified Rank Faculty, also known as non-tenure track faculty, whose contracts were not renewed by the university. The BGSU Faculty Senate passed a protection resolution April 7.

The trustees are expected to take action on four agenda items and then enter an executive session, without any actions expected following the session.

The virtual meeting of the BGSU Board of Trustees starts at 9 a.m. on Friday and will be live streamed at: https://www.bgsu.edu/president/trustees/meeting-resources/4172020#

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