Administration discusses budget, strategic plan

University had $30 million in reserve balance during 2020 fiscal year, disbursed it among campuses to recover from fiscal deficits



WSU President Kirk Schulz said WSU Athletics lost $30-$35 million in net revenue due to COVID-19.


WSU administration joined Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture to discuss the university’s budget, which has been disbursed among WSU campuses to recover from deficits, and its diversity plan, which includes cluster hires to increase faculty diversity.

Voiland College professors contribute $28 million in active grants to WSU’s research enterprise, WSU President Kirk Schulz said.


In the 2020 fiscal year, the university’s reserve balance was about $30 million on the positive side. That money has now been disbursed among campuses to recover from any deficit spending.

With athletics being canceled this fall, $30-$35 million in net revenue will be lost as a result of not playing football, Schulz said.

Most intercollegiate athletics around the country are funded by their football programs, he said. As a result, $6.5 million in additional expenditure reductions have been made.

WSU’s strategic plan will create a leadership structure by having on-campus groups weigh in on system-related things, Schulz said. This includes WSU Faculty Senate, academic deans, faculty members and chancellors.

The strategic plan community will be having a system-wide conversation about rural healthcare and extending the strategic plan to other campuses on Oct. 8, he said.


Chilton and Schulz are meeting monthly with Black faculty and staff members to create initiatives that will increase diversity among university employees, said Elizabeth Chilton, WSU Provost and Executive Vice President.

Cluster hires allow faculty to come in with a support group of scholars who mentor each other and their colleagues, she said.

This has been shown to help increase retention in diverse faculty. Community engagement and focus in research will increase through this, she said.

Chilton said she has been working with college deans and the president’s cabinet to launch a new cluster hire this fall.

Chilton will also coordinate with existing diversity, equity and inclusion efforts, like the Division of Student Affairs, the Office of Compliance and Civil Rights, and Institutional Research.

Noteworthy Student Honors 

For the fifth straight semester, WSU student-athletes maintained their highest cumulative GPA, which is 3.17, Schulz said.

Last year, the university raised $27 million in gifts, money and pledges for intercollegiate athletics, he said, which is almost twice the previous record.

Oluwanifemi “Nife” Shola-Dare, senior neuroscience major, received the inaugural award from Phi Beta Kappa, Schulz said.