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UA academic programs

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4 hours ago, UAZipster0305 said:

It is disgraceful that the justification for the cancellation of 80 academic programs was financial difficulties and then shortly after, we eat a $500,000 per year contract for a fired football coach for a program that costs around $10 million per year to run. Shame on the Board of Trustees! This is irresponsible and further proves that the BoT are not looking out for the best interest of UA or the Akron community.

 

How much better off would UA be if football were suspended as a program for five years so that debt on the stadium could be paid down and additional support be given to the academic faculty to strengthen research programs? Though for different reasons, the suspension of the UAB football program worked out favorably for its competitiveness. That $50 million would go a long way towards turning UA around while not sacrificing anything academic. This is exactly what we need new, long-term leadership for.

You do realize that 4.5 million of that 10 million per year is for the football stadium? Disbanding the program therefore would only cut costs by about 5.5 million. Meanwhile, we would lose the ~1.3 million guaranteed revenue from (insert P5 program here) & another ~1 million per year from the MAC tv deal with ESPN. We're down to a net -3.2 million and we haven't even discussed the revenue lost from ticket sales (including premium seating), donations made towards football program, and advertising/royalties. Also, we'd likely get booted from the MAC so we'd have to find another conference for the remainder of our sports. This could lead to potential increase in travel costs for our other sports. 

 

Subtracting the football stadium, which is a sunk cost, the football program itself is probably close to breakeven. The real cost savings from cutting the football program is from all the non-revenue women's sports we'd also be able to cut while still maintaining our Title IX compliance.

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Today's ABJ includes some stunning facts:

 

1. UA lost 2,600 "qualified" students to attrition in the past year - not low-quality, hope-for-the-best students; students who qualified with decent grades and test scores.  That's an astonishing level of attrition. This points to a severe "student experience" crisis and a significant, further drain on budgets.  Additionally, and shockingly, the board's three-year strategic plan seems to ignore the need to enrich the student experience.  It's more about raising revenue.

 

2.  The U is exploring the concept of selling off the stadium and Stiles and then renting it back.  This reeks of desperation.

 

3.  One of the strategies for revenue generation is to increase the placement of students in dorms, with athletes specifically identified as a target.  This tells me the U is going to require that scholarship athletes live in dorms.  While a revenue generator, it will invariably become a disadvantage on the recruiting trail.

 

4. There's a clear re-emphasis on moving as many classes online as possible.  This raises the specter of Scarborough's online university push.  As we know, these students are not likely to be engaged in the university experience; they will not value athletics, for example.

 

  

 

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The article does not paint a pretty picture.... when you plan to cut athletic expenses by $3 million,  are buying out your football coach... and presumably are going to increase athletic sponsorships by $5 million, you must have some great accountants 

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It seems like every year we release a new 3 year plan. How about we actually follow one of these plans through? Personally, I feel the college system is broken and needs to be fixed. All the Ohio public schools are trying to compete with one another to have the nicest facilities which in turn drives up the costs which in turn makes it so more people can't afford college.

 

If the public schools actually worked together we could drive down costs making it so more people could afford it. Akron and Kent are separated by 12 miles. It doesn't make sense for both to have engineering & liberal arts programs. Akron does engineering better. We should focus our attention and resources on that. Kent State does liberal arts better. They should focus their resources on that. By doing this NEO both universities could shed costs while also improving what they're best at already. I'm sure there are other programs that can be divvied up one way or another. I just used this as a quick example.

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9 hours ago, morris buttermaker said:

The article does not paint a pretty picture.... when you plan to cut athletic expenses by $3 million,  are buying out your football coach... and presumably are going to increase athletic sponsorships by $5 million, you must have some great accountants 

 

Yeah, given the situation, the fact that UA is still trying to build and accelerate athletics spending says all I need to know about the cause of UA's problems.

 

Suspending the football program in addition to several women's sports commensurate with Title IX is the right thing to do. UA softball and volleyball have never been good. They can be suspended until academics and finances recover. I'd rather have a physics department and comprehensive Ph.D. programs than athletics. We are afterall a University, not an athletics club.

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22 hours ago, kreed5120 said:

You do realize that 4.5 million of that 10 million per year is for the football stadium? Disbanding the program therefore would only cut costs by about 5.5 million. Meanwhile, we would lose the ~1.3 million guaranteed revenue from (insert P5 program here) & another ~1 million per year from the MAC tv deal with ESPN. We're down to a net -3.2 million and we haven't even discussed the revenue lost from ticket sales (including premium seating), donations made towards football program, and advertising/royalties. Also, we'd likely get booted from the MAC so we'd have to find another conference for the remainder of our sports. This could lead to potential increase in travel costs for our other sports. 

 

Subtracting the football stadium, which is a sunk cost, the football program itself is probably close to breakeven. The real cost savings from cutting the football program is from all the non-revenue women's sports we'd also be able to cut while still maintaining our Title IX compliance.

 

We could find another conference if being in the MAC requires continuous football. As I said in a more recent post in this thread, I'd be all about reducing women's programs commensurate with the loss of football. UA's financial problems are easily fixable; athletics are a luxury.

 

If those who donate towards athletics were told that UA's overall success depends on reductions in athletics and corresponding donations being best allocated to academics, I think most alums and friends of UA would concur and participate accordingly.

 

Academic program reductions should focus on the liberal arts. as UA is more of a STEM school. However, all reductions should be made after negotiating with CSU, KSU, and YSU about corresponding reductions and concentrating certain programs at specific universities. For example, UA, CSU, and YSU don't all need colleges of engineering. What programs could UA and CSU cede to YSU to compensate for contracting their engineering?

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