A new plan at the University of Akron seeks to reduce the university’s subsidy to the athletic department, meaning that some programs may face cuts.
The school contributed $22.8 million from its general fund to the athletics department this year, and the Akron Beacon Journal reports that new plans call for an $8 million reduction to that number over the next three years. The reduction will reportedly come both from cuts — about $3 million total — as well as from $5 million in revenue increases.
Interim president John Green said that it’s unlikely any UA sports will be cut completely, but indicated that some would face budget reductions and that the goals of certain programs might need to also be reined in.
“Some hard choices will have to be made about the sports that we compete in,” Green told the Beacon Journal after a board of trustees presentation. “Of course we’re going to try to compete, but the question is at what level do we compete?” he added. “Because it’s expensive in any sport to compete at the national level.”
Beginning next year, the university will transfer $1 million less to athletics from the university general fund. Green said that while there will be less money available for athletic training and game day operations, he remains hopeful that the football program will see a revenue spike due in part to the hiring of new head coach Tom Arth.
“We’re very hopeful that our football program will generate new revenues,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a much more successful program.”
Akron is facing similar issues on the academic side. Dwindling enrollment and competition from neighboring institutions may lead to the school deciding to discontinue certain degree programs.