OSU’s senior leadership – from President Ed Ray to academic deans and others – are voluntarily taking an FTE reduction to help the university cope with a budget reduction of approximately $13 million by the end of the 2009 fiscal year.
By reducing their full-time equivalent, or FTE, from 1.0 to 0.954, the administration has met Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s goal of seeking a voluntary “furlough” of one day per month from senior leaders in state agencies and the Oregon University System.
This voluntary program is one of several avenues that President Ray and his leadership cabinet are using to reduce expenditures. The downturn in the economy created a revenue shortfall resulting in a 5 percent cut to the university for the 2007-09 biennium, which must be taken by June 30. Of the $13 million total, $9 million will be taken from Education and General Funds and $4 million from OSU’s Statewide Programs. (For details, see: http://oregonstate.edu/leadership/budget/budget-update-2-27-09.html)
“These are unusual times. My highest priority, shared by all in senior leadership, is the preservation of the student experience and the retention of outstanding faculty. Every move we make to keep OSU fiscally sound is important,” Ed Ray, president, said. “I am proud of the sense of community I have felt from the leadership team in this move and their unhesitating interest in being part of the solution in this fiscal challenge we are facing.”
Among other actions the university has taken are the implementation of a hiring “chill” under which all job searches must be centrally approved; an across-the-board salary freeze; the adoption of a restricted travel policy; and a strict approval process for new academic programs and Extended Campus courses.
President Ray and his senior leadership team already have taken the steps for their voluntary reduction, which has the effect of reducing their yearly salary at a yearly rate of 4.6 percent. A number of other OSU senior leaders are following suit.
One of those is Sherm Bloomer, dean of the College of Science, who says the move is important as both a cost-saving measure and a message that “everyone must share the pain.”
“The state is facing truly unprecedented financial circumstances and the leadership of the university is committed to doing whatever we can to meet the fiscal constraints Oregon faces and continue to provide access and opportunity to all of our students.”