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Wright State Projects Budget Surplus; Petition Calls For Board's Ouster

Doug Fecher, vice chair, Wright State University Board of Trustees. Fecher is also president and CEO of Wright-Patt Credit Union
Jess Mador
/
WYSO
Doug Fecher, Wright State University Board of Trustees. Fecher is also president and CEO of Wright-Patt Credit Union

During a Friday meeting, Wright State University’s Board of Trustees brainstormed new ways to boost enrollment as part of the board's continued efforts to shore up the school’s finances.

The university is projecting another budget surplus this year, for a second year in a row. 

Wright State is expected to add another $5.8 million to its reserve fund this year. This means the school is unlikely to be placed under state fiscal watch.

Board Chairman Doug Fecher says, while that’s good news, they’re not out of the woods yet.

“If we're not able to reverse the declining enrollment trends, we will continue to have financial challenges that we have to overcome,” says Fecher. “So it all comes down to enrollment.”

Wright State’s student population has decreased for a number of years.

At the meeting, board members discussed bringing in more students by expanding online course offerings, though details of the plan were not decided.

It was the first time trustees met since faculty members issued a vote of no confidence against the board on Monday.

A handful of protesters from a group called Save Wright State showed up to the meeting Friday to call for board members to resign, citing years of financial mismanagement.

The group has so far gathered more than 300 signatures on a petition calling for the board’s ouster.

Fecher admits the board has made mistakes. But he says the university is now on the right path.

“I can tell you this board does not want to repeat the last two or three years,” says Fecher. “So to have the board resign I think would be a little shortsighted.”

The next public Board of Trustees meeting will be held on April 19.