SOU President Bailey addresses university’s fiscal issues

ASHLAND, Ore. – The head of Southern Oregon University is publicly outlining the specifics of SOU’s “financial realignment plan, which includes over two dozen employees losing their jobs.

Thursday morning, SOU President Rick Bailey met with faculty and staff to share proposals that came out of a four-month process to create a more stable fiscal model for the university.

“The road to sustainable success is not paved entirely with reductions and thrifty practices,” President Bailey said in a press release before the meeting. “We are resetting our financial baseline, then moving forward with fresh ideas and innovation – becoming both ground-breaking and more self-reliant.

“Cost management is something no one really wants to address, but it is a crucial first step to building a financial structure that will support our long-term success and guarantee access for current and future students.”

SOU said the cost management plan calls for staff reductions that are “equivalent to almost 83 full-time positions.”

According to the university, about 24 of those cuts will result in current employees losing their jobs; the remainder of the positions will come from not hiring for positions that are currently open, retirements, voluntary departures and non-renewable contracts.

According to the university, SOU leaders have been directed by the Board of Trustees to balance the university’s budget by reducing costs by $3.6 million this year. SOU said in addition to current cuts, the plan identifies another $9 million in recurring cost reductions.

After discussions, the board plans to take action on the plan at its April 21 meeting.

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