Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis issued a memo Tuesday to inform students, faculty and staff of possible changes to the state budget and their potential impact on the university.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled last month that Ohio voters can have a chance to vote whether to allow slot machines at Ohio race tracks. According to the memo, this decision could reduce or eliminate the $844 million in projected slot machine revenues, which were built into the State of Ohio's biennial budget to support Kindergarten through 12th grade education in the state.
Gov. Ted Strickland announced last week his proposal to suspend the 4.2 percent cut in income taxes that took effect Jan. 1 in order to fill that $844 million hole. The Governor and the General Assembly could also decide to re-open the biennial budget and move funds from other areas of the state budget to fill the gap. If state leaders choose the second option, the higher education budget could be one area that would be targeted for reductions.
Ohio University's Athens campus will already receive $10.5 million less in State Share of Instruction (SSI) in FY 2011 than it is targeted to receive in FY 2010. Further cuts to the higher education budget would make the cuts even deeper for Ohio University in FY 2011, according to the memo.
"The challenging economic times that our state, region, nation and the world have faced over the last 18 months have created an environment of very difficult decisions for policymakers and government leaders," McDavis said.