ADA — Ohio Northern University will be laying off 16 faculty and staff members and discontinuing 10 academic programs as part of its Foundation for Our Future Project, a 15-month initiative aimed at saving the university $4 million to $8 million.
The announcement was made Thursday following an inquiry from The Lima News.
Four faculty members and 12 staff members had their positions eliminated. In addition, 35 positions currently vacant or that will become vacant due to retirement will not be filled.
Officials would not provide a full list of what programs are ending.
While the financial plan sees the university reducing expenses, consolidating activities and streamlining operations, it also includes a plan for growth. Ohio Northern intends to create a Student Success Center and address the hiring of faculty in the criminal justice and pharmacy programs. It will staff positions in public safety and expand laboratory equipment.
“Since the great recession, there have been financial challenges impacting higher education. We want to do a better job strengthening our financial position and preparing for future and continued success that we’ve gained,” said university President Dan DiBiasio. “We want to bring revenue and expenses closer together and this initiative will be the spring board to allow us to do so. At the same time, we want to garner resources to invest in some new activities and to fund programs that are growing.”
Some of the 10 programs discontinued include undergraduate degree programs in German, French, and risk management and insurance, as well as a master’s degree program in law. DiBiasio said the programs stopping are similar to programs that will remain.
Together, 45 students are impacted.
“Every program completed a report that was reviewed by our committees,” DiBiasio explained. “The common theme among the programs we selected was that they sustained a history of low enrollment, and it did not appear as if they had the opportunity to reverse that.”
The programs will be “taught out” so those students are able to graduate, he added.
The intiative was approved in May by the university’s board of trustees unanimously.
ONU is a private, United Methodist Church-affiliated university with just over 3,000 students enrolled. It now offers 70 degree programs of study.
Reach Tara Jones at 567-242-0511.