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Western Kentucky University to Cut 140 Jobs

February 26, 2018
 
 

Amid state funding cuts and a drop in enrollments, Western Kentucky University announced plans to eliminate 140 jobs, cut a multidisciplinary college and shift three regional campuses to a distance learning unit, the Lexington Herald Leader reported Saturday.

University president Tim Caboni wrote in an email Friday that 100 filled jobs and 40 vacant positions will be cut. Employees who will be impacted will be notified by mid-March.

This may only be the beginning of cuts to Western Kentucky, Caboni warned. The university would have a “better sense” of cuts in April, Caboni said, when the state budget is revealed. The university’s deficit could rise from $15 million (as it stands currently) to $30 million, Caboni said, due to a 6.25 percent cut in state funding, and a rise in pension contribution of about $9 million a year.

Western Kentucky’s university college will also be eliminated. Departments within this college, including African-American, gender and paralegal studies, will be relocated to different departments. In addition, three of the college’s regional campuses, located in Elizabethtown-Fort Knox, Glasgow and Owensboro, will be shifted to the “division of extended learning and outreach.”

“This is a difficult time in the life of our institution,” Caboni said. “Our fortitude and our leadership will be tested. This is certainly not what I envisioned for my first year as president, but we cannot stick our heads in the sand and fail to address it. My hope is that the strategies we are employing now will ensure that future budgets are more stable, predictable and adequate to support our core mission.”

Other state universities are feeling the impacts of $85 million higher education cuts proposed by Kentucky governor Matt Bevin. Morehead State University last week announced plans to buy out up to 25 employees, while the University of Kentucky is facing $16 million in cuts in state funds and $10 million in program eliminations.

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