OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh has announced a projected structural deficit of up to $18 million, stating that future layoffs and furloughs are ‘unavoidable.’

In a statement on the University’s website by the Office of the Chancellor, dropping enrollment, declining state support, increased reliance on tuition revenue, and rising costs “in the post-pandemic, inflationary world” leave the University in a “challenging financial position.”

We project a structural deficit of up to $18 million in the current fiscal year. That challenge is unprecedented for the institution. For years, we have adjusted and made investments to address the enrollment trends. Regrettably, they have not reversed the course of declines, even though preliminary indications portend some potential for stabilization in fall 2023. It is no longer sustainable for us to operate without dramatic reduction in expenses.

Andrew Leavitt, Ph.D., Chancellor of UW-Oshkosh

The statement adds that UW-Oshkosh now plans to take three steps to deal with the financial decisions it is faced with; furloughs, workforce adjustments, and additional budget reductions and restructuring opportunities.

“Hard decisions are ahead,” the statement reads. “To start to alleviate our costs, intermittent furloughs will commence with September 2023 pay periods and will be planned to remain in effect through the June 2024 pay periods. Layoffs and nonrenewals are unavoidable, with notifications coming later this fall semester.”

The full statement can be read here.