Leaders at The University of Toledo are working to finalize a budget for fiscal year 2024 that begins to address the challenges facing higher education and positions UToledo for future success.
Institutions of higher education across the country are contending with a declining population of high school graduates entering college, difficulties retaining current students and rising financial costs of operations. UToledo is no exception to these current challenges as it also works to address historical challenges connected to an extended period of enrollment decline.
To meet this moment, UToledo is making difficult decisions to prioritize limited resources. In the coming year the University will reduce spending by at least 7% to address a fiscal deficit of approximately $28 million. It is important to note budget reductions are not being made across the board as University leaders make strategic decisions to reallocate resources.
While not all decisions have been finalized, UToledo is moving forward with a number of changes in operations. Among them is an opportunity to rethink student success services provided through Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. UToledo is moving away from the current success coach model and working to better coordinate existing initiatives and identify a new system of robust and connected academic advising and student support programming. UToledo’s network of academic advisors, the Center for Advocacy and Student Experience, Rocket Solution Central, Counseling Center, Career Services and other units continue to support student success.
The University also is evaluating its academic programs for opportunities to phase out those that are no longer in demand and add new innovative degrees related to in-demand careers with the potential to attract students to the University. In addition, UToledo is working to grow its online degree programs.
Administrative operational expenses have been reduced through various personnel actions, leveraging economies of scale associated with purchasing/contracting, limiting travel, centralizing software agreements/licensing, and eliminating of discretionary spend.
While efforts are being made to limit the impact on employees with reductions to the workforce through attrition and elimination of vacant positions where possible, there will be some employees impacted. Human Resources is providing assistance to individuals impacted by a reduction in force.
Some decisions will impact the budget for the upcoming 2023-24 academic year while others will take more time to realize as the University continues its strategic prioritization efforts.
The fiscal year 2024 budget will go to the UToledo Board of Trustees for approval at its scheduled June 22 meeting. The University is required to have a balanced budget approved prior to the start of the fiscal year on July 1.