Athletic department sees layoffs as budget cuts begin

OSU vice president and athletic director Scott Barnes was hired into his position in December 2016. Barnes is working with the Athletics department to understand scholarship opportunities and financial options moving forward in the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Oregon State’s Athletic department will reduce its operating budget by up to 20% for the 2021 fiscal year, with the aim of reducing expected financial losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The department’s original budget for the fiscal year was $84 million prior to the cuts.

Included in the cuts are a hiring and salary freeze and the reduction of 23 positions via retirements and layoffs. These reductions were made on July 1. 

“Across the world, we all are dealing with unprecedented challenges, which are requiring unprecedented and difficult decisions,” OSU Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Barnes said in a press release last month. “This is also true within OSU Athletics. Based on our current scenario planning, we have budget models that range from a shortfall of $8 million and up for the upcoming fiscal year.”

Assistant Sports Performance Coordinator Chris Anderson was one of the faculty members who was laid off. Anderson’s duties included handling the strength and conditioning for OSU’s baseball program.

“Obviously I’m not happy about it because I have a family to feed and it was a job that I loved,” Anderson said of being laid off. “I loved working with my team, the environment I was in with the coaches and everyone else, I really loved it. There’s always that sense of loss that comes with it but unfortunately, it’s the nature of the beast when you’re in the coaching business.”

With a family to feed, Anderson is currently keeping his options open regarding finding employment, however, he stated that he is open to returning to work at OSU should the opportunity present itself.

“I would absolutely love to come back to Oregon State and work with the baseball team. I love to work with any of the athletes,” Anderson said. “One of the reasons why I got into being a strength coach is so that I could help an athlete achieve their goals. The most satisfying part of the job is getting to know the athletes and helping them to grow and become the people that they want to become. I’d like to think I’ve been able to do that in my time there. To be able to come back and do that here, where I’m happy, where my family’s happy, I would absolutely love that.”