ORU Plans Job Cuts

Monday, November 17th 2008, 1:32 pm
By: News On 6

By Craig Day, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Job cuts are announced at Oral Roberts University.  The university says it is cutting 100 jobs in an effort to balance its budget.  School leaders say the decision is tough, but necessary for the long term future of ORU.

After several years of deep debt, and a spending scandal involving former President Richard Roberts, Oral Roberts University is trying to get on a firm financial foundation.  School leaders say they've had to make tough decisions for ORU to be economically stable.  That now includes job cuts.

"This is one of the last things we would want to do, but with the economic situation, in terms of operational budget, we had to do something," said ORU Interim President Ralph Fagin.

About 100 ORU employees will be notified in January their jobs will be eliminated.  The cuts then go into effect after 60 days.

"And even after mid-March there would be severance packages after that," said ORU Interim President Ralph Fagin.

ORU's interim president Ralph Fagin says, although painful, reducing costs by cutting jobs is necessary to balance the school's budget.  He says the university simply can't spend more than it takes in.

"These employees are very special people, so I don't want to downplay the difficulty that we're facing today.  However, doing what we're doing today is going to help ensure the future of Oral Roberts University," said ORU Interim President Ralph Fagin.

The university is going through a process to determine which positions will be eliminated.  At the same time, it is also looking at ways of raising revenue, including increasing donor support and student enrollment.

"With us increasing our student body, that is another important step to economic sustainability," said ORU Interim President Ralph Fagin.

Fagin says the university has made great strides in reducing debt.  The job cuts will save ORU $4 million annually.

In addition to severance packages, the ORU says it will offer job placement services for employees affected by the reduction.

CLICK HERE to read the news release.