administrators

Job Cuts Coming at Southeast Missouri State

Southeast Missouri State University is eliminating 4 percent of its full-time work force in the midst of a multiyear budget crunch.

The university will cut between 20 and 25 staff members and chop 15 to 20 vacant staff positions, it announced Tuesday. No faculty positions are currently being eliminated, according to officials. But some vacant instructional positions could remain unfilled.

Cuts come as the university grapples with $3.43 million in one-time withholdings for the 2017 fiscal year and faces a $6.6 million budgeted need for 2018. Its state appropriations are dropping by 9 percent in 2018.

The university has previously reorganized divisions, put in place a voluntary retirement program that will net 74 faculty and staff retirements this year, eliminated vacant staff positions, and revamped the university’s benefits program. A four-month hiring delay is also in effect.

“As we navigated our initial budget challenges, we worked very hard to avoid impacting individual members of the university community,” President Carlos Vargas said in a statement. “But as we continue to operate in difficult times, the current realities have required tough decisions.”

Southeast Missouri State enrolls about 10,500 undergraduates and 1,000 graduate students on a head-count basis. Officials say it has about 4,000 more students than it did in 1999 but that its state appropriation is lower than it was that year.

Employees losing their jobs will be told in two rounds of notifications ending this spring. They will have five months’ notice before their last day.

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Strada Education Network has acquired the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), a nonprofit organization that has long focused on prior learning assessment and other ways for adult students to earn college credit for their knowledge and experience.

The former USA Funds, a nonprofit student loan guarantee agency, rebranded as Strada last year. The move was part of a multiyear restructuring in which the group has focused on college completion and success. In addition to its philanthropic work, Strada, which is based in Indianapolis, has purchased several organizations that work on college completion, including InsideTrack, DXtera Institute, Education at Work, Roadtrip Nation and Student Connections.

"They're really trying something new here," said Pam Tate, CAEL's president and CEO, of Strada's approach to philanthropy.

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