Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the University of Akron has announced the elimination of 178 positions, including 96 members of the union faculty and nonunion faculty, contract employees and staff.
The significant reduction in staff, which was approved by the school's board of trustees on Wednesday, is expected to save the university $16.4 million. It will not include the elimination of any academic programs.
Last week, the University of Akron announced a $65 million budget gap.
According to University of Akron president Dr. Gary L. Miller, the reduction in the school's budget will be permanent. In addition to the coronavirus pandemic, the school has suffered from a decrease in enrollees in recent years.
"It's clear that in order to develop a sustainable budget we need more reductions," Miller said during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday.
While Dr. Miller said the reduction in staff would have likely occurred over the next few years, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic expedited the process. As for where the cuts came from, Miller said athletics took the biggest hit with a $4.4 million reduction, which included a reduction in personnel. Earlier this year, Akron announced that it was eliminating its men’s cross country, men’s golf and women’s tennis programs.