Following a 3 to 4 percent rise in tuition last fall, faculty and staff must now work with the provost to adjust to budget cuts recently initiated.
John Veilleux, vice president of marketing and communications, said this budget cut is due to a lack of student enrollment and a rise in costs.
“We need to identify areas we can save and we will depend on the provost to act with academic officers to decide where those areas will be,” Veilleux said.
Joe Brown, professor of theater arts and communications and dean of freshmen success, holds a 34-year tenure at Wesleyan.
He said he is prepared and expects raises and bonuses to be out of the question this year and the next to come.
“The school has to pay its electric bill,” Brown said.
Veilleux said Frederick Slabach, Wesleyan’s president, is looking to cut as many miscellaneous expenses from the budget before cutting student services.
“The president said [referring to a faculty meeting that took place Feb. 15] the first place they do not want to make cuts is anything bringing students to the campus or effecting student satisfaction,” Brown said.
Veilleux said he plans to increase publicity for Wesleyan by focusing on the amenities of a small school and the academic attention students have the capability to receive.
“As for incoming freshmen for next year, we actually increased their scholarship amount,” Pati Alexander, vice president of enrollment and student enrollment, said.
Alexander said the academic awards for freshmen will start at $10,000 for the Tier One Award and goes down to $3,000. This first award was increased $1,000 from the previous year.
Brown said the provost and academic advisers’ main efforts to increase student enrollment will focus on transfer students because the large junior college market surrounding Wesleyan makes freshmen much more difficult to attract.
Transfer scholarships have also increased and range from $3,000 to $6,000. Phi Theta Kappa scholarships, a scholarship program based on academic achievements run by the Wesleyan alumni, have also been raised to $600.
Next year’s budget will be based on a projected 160 freshmen and will continue to remain conservative until enrollment increases, Veilleux and Brown said.
As for where the cuts will come from, Veilleux said it is up to each college and its faculty to propose where the best and most effective cuts would come from.
Each department will send these proposals to the provost for approval.
Brown said Theatre Wesleyan will be affected in the sense that they will have less money to spend next year and will need to choose less expensive plays for the year’s performances.
However, the athletic department will not see drastic changes, as they plan to add a women’s junior varsity basketball and women’s golf team. Adding these teams will raise enrollment and increase the department’s overall budget, Brown said.
Alexander said she believes students have many reasons to attend Wesleyan and choose the university over other schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.
“I think it’s all about the fit,” Alexander said. “Wesleyan helps a lot of people reach their goals, but it has to be the place you feel most comfortable.”
Veilluex said it is the small classes and large amount of professor aid and attention that sets Wesleyan apart from other schools.
“Texas Wesleyan has small intimate size classes where professors can really communicate to students,” Veilleux said, “Really engage and challenge students in a way they wouldn’t otherwise be able to in larger class settings.”