Budget woes force WCU to cut jobs

Western Carolina University is laying off 10 employees in April as it struggles with the projected loss of approximately $8.6 million in state funding.

The 10 workers are employed in several divisions across the university.

University leaders say they anticipate eliminating another 15 other positions by July, of which three are staff and 12 are fixed-term faculty or administrative.

The job cuts are necessary to help the university continue to operate as efficiently as possible and protect its academic core, said Chancellor John Bardo.

The university will be making significant cuts in its operating budget, which includes supplies, materials and equipment.

Departments have been instructed to limit the inventory of supplies and materials to no more than one month’s supply. New subscriptions, memberships and contracted services not essential to current operations may not be processed. Equipment budgets and purchases have been frozen, travel has been severely limited, and all hiring has been frozen with the exception of positions that are deemed critical.

Some faculty may be reduced from full-time to less-than-full time – for example, some department heads on 12-month contracts may have their terms reduced to nine months –Other changes under consideration are the possible reorganization of departments and colleges, the use of a limited number of academic buildings for summer classes to help reduce utility costs, and other measures designed to reduce heating and cooling expenses.

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