The COVID-19 pandemic puts immense pressure on SWOSU's revenues. President Beutler just announced a temporary hiring freeze.
By Johannes Becht
The coronavirus outbreak has led to immense financial consequences for the majority of businesses in the United States, also for essential ones such as Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
In a letter to the faculty and staff on Friday, April 10, SWOSU President Randy Beutler announced a temporary hiring freeze effective Monday, April 13, to "help with the university budget." Exceptions for essential hires are possible.
Several factors, all caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, come into play regarding the university's revenues. One of them is that most of the students vacate the dorms and continue their studies at home.
"This needed action has cost SWOSU over $1 million in revenues to our Auxiliary Services," Beutler writes in his letter.
Furthermore, cancelled summer camps on campus and prospective lower enrollment rates for the coming Fall Semester will lead to more pressure on revenues. Also, Oklahoma's Gov. Kevin Stitt intends to cut funding by 1-3% for all state agencies for the remainder of this fiscal year and the next.
Beutler: "All these situations bring us to the conclusion that we will need to initiate certain actions to protect our institutional budget for the near future."
The CARES Act, a massive $2 trillion stimulus package by the federal government, is not expected to decisively change the current financial situation: "At this time, we are still determining the extent to which these funds may be used on campus."
Beutler warns: "Due to the situation with the pandemic, we have experienced and will continue to experience significant pressures on revenues."