WSU Athletics announces hiring freeze amid budget concerns

Salary increases for WSU faculty, staff unaffected, Schulz cites ‘inadequate documentation of revenues and expenses’



After six year at WSU, Pat Chun leaves Pullman for Seattle, AD job at Washington.

GABRIELLE BOWMAN, Evergreen news co-editor

WSU President Kirk Schulz announced a temporary hiring freeze on WSU Athletics May 22. 

Schulz said in a message to WSU staff that the university would have a hiring freeze on top of a pause for non-essential travel, purchases and new professional development.

The cause of this freeze comes from Pac-12. Deals by the Conference has led to each of the schools owing Comcast $4 million for years of overpayment. On top of that, the conference is moving its headquarters out of San Fransico, according to Mercury News. 

“As has already been widely reported, each Pac-12 university will see a significant decrease in revenue distribution,” Schulz said.

Schulz said that WSU Director of Athletics, Pat Chun, shared with university staff that immediate actions will be implemented to help offset the projected deficit.

However, with this freeze, Schulz said there would be no impact on upcoming salary increases for WSU faculty and staff.

Schulz also said in the message that Executive Vice President of Finance and Administration, Leslie Brunelli, is conducting a review to understand the extent of the deficit and its cause. 

“My fiscal expectations for Cougar Athletics remain the same – an annual balanced operating budget, the development of appropriate reserve funds and a repayment plan to plan to pay down internal debt,” Schulz said. 

Schulz said he is committed to transparency about the Cougar Athletics budget and improving the fiscal health of the university.

According to a statement by WSU Athletics more on the freeze and the process of resolving the fiscal year 2023 budget and planning for the fiscal year 2024 budget will be discussed during the next Board of Regents meeting June 8 and 9.