University of Akron’s “budget bloodbath”
The University of Akron made some of the deepest cuts seen so far in higher education to its full-time instructional staff in order to balance the budget. In July, the board of trustees voted to eliminate 178 positions, including 97 full-time faculty positions. What was described as a “budget bloodbath” is a frantic effort to correct its course before financial disaster strikes. This is a story Akron has seen before.
Some of its problems are demographic; others are self-inflicted wounds. In recent years, Akron has experienced an enrollment drop of 34% and an administration more than willing to spend frivolously on luxuries while cutting the positions that truly make a university. In 2015, it was an itemized list of over $950,000 in expenses on renovations of the presidential home, which included the infamous $556.40 olive jar. That same year, Akron would cut more than 200 positions in order to trim the budget.