Report: Ohio State's largest college faces $10M budget gap

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Spending cuts are expected next school year at Ohio State University's largest college due to a projected $10 million budget gap, according to a newspaper report.

The College of Arts and Sciences plans to hire fewer graduate students and lecturers next year because of the shortfall, and other cost-cutting efforts have yet to be planned.

The Columbus Dispatch reports Monday ( ) that the college's budget deficit for the coming school year amounts to about 3.75 percent of its annual budget. It follows a $4.6 million deficit that the school filled with cash savings last year. Spending has outpaced revenue each year since 2013, and its cash reserves are dwindling.

The college's financial problems are separate from the university's central budget.

Each college receives a slice of university revenue based on the number of credit hours students take in that school. Administrators then decide how to divide the money between departments.

The budget woes are causing tension between faculty members and the Arts and Science's dean.

Leaders of 23 departments and centers in the college told the university provost in a letter this month that they are losing confidence in Dean David Manderscheid.

Among other issues, they wrote that "his erratic handling and communication of our recent financial challenges has exacerbated problems of confidence to the point that he has lost the respect and trust of faculty in leadership positions within the college."

Manderscheid told the newspaper that he's focused on fixing the college's problems. "I don't believe in placing blame; I believe in moving forward."

A decline in course enrollments can lead to budget cuts, and the College of Arts and Sciences has seen a drop in recent years. But faculty and administrators disagree about on why classes are not filling up.

While many faculty members blame Ohio State's switch from quarter terms to semesters in 2012 for the deficit, administrators point to other factors.

Provost Joseph Steinmetz said stagnant university revenue has put a pinch on budgets. And students are entering the university with more general-education credits earned in high school — credits traditionally earned through Arts and Sciences classes.

Steinmetz said his office plans to give $4 million to Arts and Sciences next school year, in part to help offset the shortfall.

"I've already made that commitment for the fiscal year '16 budget," he told the newspaper. "That's the starting point. We'll look at other things as well."


Information from: The Columbus Dispatch,

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