King University Cuts Full-Time Faculty Positions

October 30, 2017

King University in Tennessee plans to cut more than a dozen jobs, including nine full-time faculty positions at the Bristol campus and two at the Knoxville campus, the Bristol Herald Courier reported. The private university blames the decision on enrollment numbers, which have dropped from about 2,800 to in 2016-17 to 2,100 this academic year. It attributed that drop to declining enrollment in community colleges, from which many students enroll in King, and the economy over all. The Tennessee Board of Nursing also suspended the university’s ability to accept new nursing students earlier this year, until more students can pass the National Council Licensure Examination, according to the Herald Courier. The affected faculty members have already been notified of their layoffs, effective next fall.

“We have to be as flexible as the market is,” President Alexander Whitaker told the newspaper. “This is not a question of King staying afloat -- this is what a responsible school must do to remain financially responsible.” Whitaker declined to say exactly which faculty and staff positions will be cut. “We must reaffirm our commitment to rigorous academics,” he said. “We’ve seen some areas that need attention, such as our nursing program, and we are addressing those issues.”

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