UW-Oshkosh plans furloughs, layoffs to plug $18 million budget hole

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The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh will begin furloughing employees next month and announce layoffs and non-renewals later this fall, according to a statement posted on the university’s website Tuesday.

The statement says school officials anticipate a structural deficit of $18 million in the current fiscal year due to a “perfect storm” of conditions: declining enrollment, reduced state support, a state-mandated tuition freeze and increased operating costs due to inflation.

The statement also said financial reserves are nearly depleted.

“It is no longer sustainable for us to operate without dramatic reduction in expenses,” the statement says.

Furloughs – temporary layoffs of employees – will begin next month and last through June 2024. More senior employees will be required to take more furlough days.

Additionally, “Hard decisions are ahead. Layoffs and nonrenewals are unavoidable, with notifications coming later this fall semester,” the statement says. University officials will also review programs and consider discontinuing programs that don’t recover their costs.