Budget changes for 2021-23

By Randle Kinswa, Co-Managing Editor/Sports Editor

After a year of online courses campus wide, like most universities, EWU is planning and budgeting for a return to normalcy, or semi-normalcy, by the fall of 2021. EWU plans to fully open campus services by July 1, and many places on campus like Einstein Bagels and the PUB, have been open for several months now. 

However, when looking ahead it appears to seem that there will be some major changes in the curriculums and programs that have been taught at EWU for many years. 

With a predicted loss in overall student enrollment, as well as a budget crisis that was present before COVID-19 showed up last spring, EWU will be effectively ending several programs. 

As of May 19, the proposed budget for the EWU 2021-2022 school year suggests programs that should be banked, reduced or altered, or just flat eliminated. Banking a program is removing it from the campus catalog. 

Programs that will be eliminated/inactive are as follows: BA in Music/Jazz; BA in Music/Musical Theatre; MA Music/Performance; MA Music/Jazz Studies; BA and BS in Journalism; BAE in Visual Arts Education/Secondary (Elementary and Sec. combined into one K-12 degree); Supply Chain/Operations Management (BAB)

Three programs have been have been recommended for drastic alterations: BM in Music (Instrumental, Vocal, Piano Performance and Composition); BA in Music (Liberal Arts)

Mary Voves, the vice president of Business and Finance at EWU, said there was careful planning and thought put into determining whether a program needed to be eliminated, altered or left alone.

“It involved constant planning, monitoring and managing,” Voves said. “It is not a one-and-done process … we fortunately didn’t receive a budget reduction from the state [government] … so basically our budget cuts originate from the drop in enrollment.”  

Voves added that there were several different measurements used to determine whether a program needed to be altered or cut.

“Program reduction decisions were made upon a variety of metrics based around the demand for the program, the enrollment of the program, and the cost of the program,” Voves said. 

The budget at most public universities as well as EWU, is a biennial one. This June, the Board of Trustees will be approving the budget for the 2021-22, and 2022-23 school years. After each year, there is a supplementary budget with recommendations and suggested altercations to the overarching biennial budget. 

Before the Board of Trustees officially signs off on the budget that is proposed by the provost, the budget is actually looked at and discussed by the Student and Activities Committee on campus as well as ASEWU. 

ASEWU vice president of finance, Daniel Garcia, laid out their variety of metrics that were used to determine whether a program needed to be downsized. 

“The first thing we would look at is their budget proposal,” Garcia said. “And we would make sure in their verbage how they would collaborate with other programs … how are they serving the student body … if they aligned with Eastern’s mission statement and core values.” 

The Board of Trustees will be finalizing the biennial budget on June 12. Click here if you want to see what the BOT plans for next year:  Board of Trustees – Eastern Washington University (ewu.edu)