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With an eye toward OHSU’s future, board of directors approves budget

Strategic alignment work underway to improve long-term financial sustainability
OHSU logo is made up of several color ribbons that create a flame in green, blue and yellow.

The Oregon Health & Science University board of directors approved a -0.5% margin budget on Friday for the fiscal year beginning on July 1. The approved budget comes as OHSU works to implement strategic alignment efforts focused on improving the long-term financial sustainability of the institution.

Lawrence J. Furnstahl has short gray hair, eye glasses, and is wearing a gray suit and multicolor bowtie, smiling in a green area at OHSU.
Lawrence J. Furnstahl (OHSU)

“Despite significant efforts to increase revenues, our financial position requires difficult choices about internal structures, workforce and programs to ensure that we achieve OHSU’s state-mandated missions and regain our footing over the long term,” Chief Financial Officer Lawrence Furnstahl wrote to the board.

The approved budget targets revenues of $5.5 billion and a $25 million deficit for the upcoming fiscal year. Furnstahl said fallout from the global coronavirus pandemic has continued to drive increased expenses, including supplies and labor costs, that are outpacing increases in revenue.

Core priorities that led the development of the budget for the upcoming fiscal year, include:

  • Leading the health care sector in patient-facing staffing, paying to retain and recruit front-line clinicians, and providing patients the complex care they can only get at OHSU;
  • Sustaining the OHSU Tuition Promise;
  • Providing patients with the right care, in the right setting, at the right cost structure.

OHSU leaders addressed planned reductions in force in the budget portion of the board presentation. They said that anticipated reductions in force — combined with usual annual non-renewal notices that have already been issued — will amount to more than 500 layoffs. Conversations with impacted employees are expected to happen in early July.  

“OHSU is a community of healers, and we know this is undoubtedly a challenging time for all. We are approaching this work with compassion while trying to support all OHSU members the best we can,” said OHSU president Danny Jacobs, M.D., M.P.H., FACS. “We are at a point that requires a transformational change in how we are structured and how we operate. The strategic alignment work and this budget are intended to set us up for long-term success and ensure we can continue to serve our missions to the state of Oregon.”

In other business, the board heard reports on the following:

  • Provost Marie Chisholm-Burns, Pharm.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., M.B.A., FCCP, FASHP, FAST gave the annual presentation on tuition and fees at OHSU, including a recommendation for a 2% increase for the 2024-2025 academic year; no university fee increase; and that the OHSU Tuition Promise be applied to students in eligible degree programs in 2024-2025. The board approved the recommendation.
  • Angela Fleischer, M.S.W., L.C.S.W., CFP-A, associate vice president of the Office of Civil Rights Investigations, gave an update on the implementation of the 12 recommendations from the Schneider Report. Work is progressing on each recommendation and remains ongoing.
  • Faculty Senate President Amy Miller-Juve, EdD., MEd., gave an update from the faculty senate. Miller-Juve provided feedback on the board-approved budget, as well as recommendations and concerns from the senate on strategic alignment work and the Legacy combination. She urged partnership and a focus on OHSU members going forward.
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