UPDATE 9/27/12 @ 11 a.m.
ATHENS COUNTY, Ohio (WSAZ) -- More than 20 Hocking College employees will be without a job starting November 2, after the college announced a planned reduction in force Wednesday.
The layoffs come in the wake of a $4.3 million budget shortfall, due in part to a 20 percent decrease in student enrollment.
WOUB reports the eliminated positions include 14 non-bargaining/administrative positions, four professional bargaining unit positions and five support staff bargaining unit positions.
In addition to the reductions, four employees will have their contracts reduced and three open positions will not be filled.
In a message to the campus community, Dr. Erickson wrote, "Although this news is painful and difficult for all those affected, the $1.2 million reduction in force is necessary to contribute to balancing the budget by reducing the College's largest expenditure, our personnel costs."
At a meeting Tuesday night, trustees approved a new budget, including cuts in travel expenses, according to WOUB.
President Ron Erickson sent an email to the campus community saying the move is unavoidable to make up for a "shortfall of over $4.3 million in revenue".
The decrease in revenue comes from decreased enrollment, according to Erickson.
Erickson says the layoffs are scheduled to begin as early as October 1 and the goal is to balance the budget.
"All efforts are being made to minimize the impact... on our students and and our employees," Erickson says.
Hocking had already taken steps to reduce spending which has softened the burden of the budget.
"Significant savings have already been realized by reducing our reliance on adjunct instructors," Erickson says, "and ensuring the most efficient assignments for our full-time faculty members."
A more specific plan for cuts is expected to be presented to the college trustees next week.
Last year, 12 positions were cut in order to save $1.2 million on salary and benefits.
Five programs were also cut.
Five programs are being "deactivated". They include Biotechnology, Computer and Information Support Services, International Hospitality, Parks and Recreation and Spa Management.
These cuts were approved Tuesday by the Board of Trustees.
Friday, the college released a list of the positions that will be eliminated or reduced:
Financial and Data Analyst
Call Center Representative – Two Positions
Online Learning Technician
Word Processor/Computer Lab Assistant
Coordinator, International Outreach and Study Abroad
Assistant Director, Financial Aid
Mail System Coordinator (reduced to half-time)
Director of Academic Advising
According to a press release, 12 individuals have been notified of displacement due to position eliminations or reductions. They will continue to be employed through June 30, 2011 and will be offered outplacement assistance and help from the college's employee assistance program.
The college released the following statement: "Although this news is difficult for all those affected, the $1.2 million reduction in force is necessary to both balance the budget and to begin realigning the College’s staffing needs."
23 total positions were cut or reduced. Some of those positions were vacated by retirements and won't be filled.
According to a summary from the Board of Trustees meeting on Tuesday, 23 positions will be cut.
Laura Alloway, Hocking College Director of Marketing and PR tells WSAZ.com that some of these positions have already been vacated by retirement and won't be refilled.
According to the summary, the college estimates it will save $1.2 million in payroll and benefits.
The college expects to release a list of positions effected by the reduction of force on Friday.
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