More Cuts to the UW Athletic Dept. - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

More Cuts to the UW Athletic Dept.

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SEATTLE - After cutting approximately $1.2 million from its annual operating budget recently by discontinuing its swimming program, the University of Washington athletic department announced today it will reduce its workforce and streamline its operations.

The department previously announced it would reduce its operating budget by $2.8 million. The cuts are largely due to continually increasing costs, including tuition and scholarships, combined with a steady decrease in ticket sales, declining investment income and reduced endowment distributions. Approximately $600,000 of the $1.6 million in cuts will be associated with staff reductions. The remaining $1 million will come from various across-the-board reductions in the department's sports and administrative operating budget as well as various revenue generating initiatives.

"It is extremely difficult to affect the lives of dozens of our employees and student-athletes in such a dramatic way," said Scott Woodward, the UW's director of athletics. "Last week's decision regarding our swimming program, coupled with today's announcement of job layoffs, impacts a lot of people, and I wish we were not in this situation. We have a very talented, committed staff, and for any of them to lose their jobs like this is just very hard. Our focus as a department right now is to help those affected by these cuts in any way we can."

Employees affected by staff reductions were notified of the situation today, provided two months' notice and will receive support in preparing for job searches, including workshops and counseling. The department has eliminated a total of 13 positions, four of which were announced with the discontinuation of the men's and women's swimming programs. Of the positions eliminated, two were open positions that will not be filled. An additional three positions will be reduced from 12-months to either 10 or 11 month appointments.

"While our budget reduction will have a stressful short-term impact on the department, these cuts regrettably are necessary to preserve the viability of our remaining sports programs," said Woodward. "We expect this action, over the long-term, to allow us to continue to serve our student-athletes and fans, remain self-sufficient and continue to maintain a positive fund balance."