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Water Lab Announces Closure

Released by Panhandle State Campus Communications on 11/08/2018

Goodwell, Okla. — Oklahoma Panhandle State University recently held a meeting for customers of the University’s Water Lab to announce that the lab will be closing effective January 1. Customers were informed that Panhandle State will continue to offer logistical support and back up testing through the end of the year, as well as maintain records for the next five years.

This follows a meeting held last year at which University President Dr. Tim Faltyn discussed the need to restructure staffing and increase lab test prices to reduce unsustainable operating losses at the lab.

“Last year we met with the lab’s customers and showed them the financials and that we had a loss of $250,000 in Fiscal Year 2017,” said Faltyn. “That was less of a loss than any of the previous years the lab has been open, but a difficult loss after three years of state budget cuts.”

During that meeting, Panhandle State informed customers of the plan to significantly increase lab test rates to increase revenue and restructure operations by not filling open positions to reduce costs, and that the University would reevaluate after a year.

At last week’s meeting, customers were told that despite the previous year’s efforts, the lab still operated at a $108,000 loss.

“Deborah Ask, our Water Lab Director, has done a phenomenal job trying to make this work this past year,” Faltyn said, “but at the end of the day, we cannot continue to sustain the Water Lab.”

While the majority of customers will save money by using other labs in the region, Faltyn noted that what made the decision to close the lab so difficult is the local service the lab provided for area customers.

“I hate to see a service leave the Panhandle,” added Faltyn, “but this is the reality of dwindling state support and what a 27% reduction in state appropriated funding has created for the only state university in the region.”

For customer assistance at the Water Lab, please contact Deborah Ask at dask@opsu.edu.