In Transition compiled this article from sources who attended a recent all-employee meeting at Ambassador University.
BIG SANDY, Texas - "This year is a survival year at AU. We
must cut everything that is not absolutely necessary."
It was with this sober introduction that Ambassador University's President
Russell Duke announced a series of budget cuts and more layoffs for the
university during an all-employee meeting on campus Wednesday, July 3.
During the hour-and-a-half meeting at 3 p.m. in the science building, Dr.
Duke sketched a grim financial picture for the Worldwide Church of God-sponsored
He noted that the WCG's income has steadily declined, from an average of
$220,000 per day right after the Feast of Tabernacles last year to $180,000 a day in December, $130,000 to $140,000 in February and about $100,000 per
day in June.
He said that, although the WCG went $20 million in the hole last year - "primarily
because of the generous retirement and severance packages paid to former
employees and ministry who retired or left" - the church stayed afloat
by selling off assets such as art and Steuben crystal.
Dr. Duke said AU ranks third in a newly revised list of WCG priorities,
behind local churches and headquarters on one hand and its Plain Truth Ministries on the other. He announced $4 million is earmarked this fiscal year for
Plain Truth Ministries.
AU faces major shortfall
The university's subsidy from the church, originally projected at $4.6 million,
out of which the university was to receive $3.2 million in cash, was revised
downward to $1.2 million in cash. He said that, even factoring in the school's
present lack of indebtedness and reserves of $6 million, with a $10.7 million
budget, the school faces a major shortfall.