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Facing a $16 Million Deficit, University of Akron May Add and Cut Academic Programs

The Univeristy has been dealing with dwindling enrollment for more than two years.
The Univeristy has been dealing with dwindling enrollment for more than two years.

The University of Akron says it's anticipating a $16 million operating deficit for the new fiscal year beginning July 1st.

The university attributes the shortfall partly to a downward trend in enrollment the past several years, including a projected 7 percent decrease for the fall. But interim President John Green says the school will adjust program offerings in the hopes of attracting new students.The plan

“Even though we have some financial problems, we want to take some money to develop new programs that will attract new students, programs that will fit into the changing job market," he said "But also we have to find ways to economize and that may be that we’ll have to have some reductions in some areas."

Those reductions could include ending academic programs that are no longer popular because of changes in the national and state economy.

The University trustees approved a 5 percent cut in operating funds throughout all departments Wednesday, but it will not include layoffs. A 3 percent raise for non-bargaining employees was also approved.

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Ashton Marra covers the Capitol for West Virginia Public Radio and can be heard weekdays on West Virginia Morning, the station’s daily radio news program. Ashton can also be heard Sunday evenings as she brings you state headlines during NPR’s weekend edition of All Things Considered. She joined the news team in October of 2012.