Winston-Salem State Makes Cuts to Reduce Budget
Winston-Salem State University (WSSU) announced today that it is eliminating 15 filled positions as part of its efforts to reduce the school’s overall budget.
“Given the current economic conditions that we know will affect the entire University of North Carolina system, we have to begin to take immediate actions to reduce our operating costs for the 2011-2012 fiscal year,” said Chancellor Donald J. Reaves. “While we still do not know the extent of the reduction we will see in our state allocations for the coming year, we could not afford to wait until the state budget was finalized to make changes.”
Winston-Salem State has seen a $20.9 million decrease in state funding since the 2008-2009 budget and has continued to take steps necessary to adjust its spending including a hiring freeze for non-critical positions and reduced purchasing for non-instructional materials and travel. Additionally, there was a 27 percent increase in tuition implemented last year.
“Our goal of delivering the quality educational services that our students are entitled to while operating within the constraints created by the state budget shortfall has created a challenging environment on our campus and across the system,” Reaves added. “Eliminating jobs is a hard thing to do because it affects our employees, their families, friends, co-workers and the community.
“With substantially less money to work with, however, we must ensure that our funds are spent in the most effective way and that resources are available for our highest priorities,” Reaves added. “I also know that, depending on the final budget, we may have to make additional difficult decisions. Yet, we cannot and we will not lose our focus on the core business of the university which is teaching, research and service.”
It is anticipated that eliminating the 15 filled positions will save WSSU approximately $1,000,000. These positions are located in various operational areas of the university and are both management and support staff. The university will eliminate up to 80 unfilled positions if necessary to meet budget requirements for next year. Those positions would come from staff and faculty jobs that are currently open.
“While eliminating vacant positions may sound reasonable, it will require the careful reallocation of duties in impacted areas to prevent further harm to our institutional effectiveness efforts,” Reaves explained. “On the staff side, many of our administrative offices have not kept pace given the growth in enrollment over the past decade. Another reduction could severely impact the services we provide for our students and the necessary support for staff and faculty.
“We have used the funds from vacant faculty positions to maintain the adjunct faculty necessary to provide the flexibility we need in responding to changing needs and for the harder-to-fill permanent faculty positions such as those in the health sciences. Additionally, reducing faculty positions will mean that there will be heavier teaching loads for the remaining faculty and that they will probably have larger classes. Those changes will impact the faculty’s ability to interact and support individual students in their classes. It also may mean a reduction in the number of class sections we are able to offer, and that can impact students’ abilities to graduate in a timely manner.”
The university’s human resources staff will be working with each employee whose job was eliminated to help them understand their severance benefits and their options for employment if that is applicable, as well as explaining the outplacement services and employee assistance programs that are available.
About Winston-Salem State University
Winston-Salem State University (WSSU), a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina, is a public university that traces its roots back to Slater Industrial Academy which was founded in 1892 in Winston-Salem, N.C. WSSU is a historically black university that today is a recognized regional institution offering baccalaureate and graduate programs to a diverse student population. U.S. News and World Report has ranked the university among Top Public Comprehensive Colleges in the South -- Bachelor’s Category for the last ten years (2001-2010). WSSU currently offers more than 40 baccalaureate, 10 master’s degree programs and a doctorate in physical therapy to a student population of more than 6,300. For more information, visit www.wssu.edu.
336-750-8764 (office) 336-413-1472 (mobile)