SAU Budget Cuts: What We Know
Spring Arbor University (SAU) has laid off 21 full-time staff members in the wake of a five percent budget cut due to decreased enrollment.
In addition to the 21 full-time positions, several open positions will also not be refilled and some current positions have had hours reduced.
Ellis said over the last five years there was a 10 percent decline in credit hours produced and a six percent reduction in SAU’s net tuition revenue.
In a letter to the student body, Student Government Association (SGA) president, Benjamin Frederick, said there has been an 11 percent drop in revenue over the past three years.
He attributed this drop largely to “SAU global which drives 65 percent of the University budget.”
SAU Global encompasses a variety of online and remote classes. At its creation a statement was released by the university saying, “SAU Global will play a significant role in our service to traditional and nontraditional students seeking face-to-face, online and hybrid educational pathways to their personal and career goals.”
A lot of questions have been raised in the wake of the cutbacks and we at “The Pulse” would like to address as many as we can with what we know.
1) Why are we having cutbacks right after building things like the globe statue and new tennis courts?
When people donate to the university there are multiple ways to allocate funds. Creations such as the globe and the new tennis courts came from donations specified for these constructions; essentially the donor said, “I’m giving the school X amount of dollars to build tennis courts.” In such instances it is illegal to use those funds for other purpose.
2) Are those laid off getting severance pay?
Yes, those laid off are being provided with severance pay in accordance with state law and SAU policy.
3) What was considered in deciding who to lay off?
When we at “The Pulse” asked Damon Seacott, SAU Chief of Staff, how the decisions of who to lay off were made he said, “Decisions of cuts were made strategically by the administration. We considered: How can we continue to serve our students at the highest level?”