By Wayne Allen
October 4, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
On Friday Shawnee State University (SSU) President Dr. Rita Rice Morris informed the campus 13 currently filled positions, or 3.4 percent of the full-time workforce, have been eliminated due to budget reductions.
According to the SSU Department of Communications, SSU has 382 full-time employees and 409 part-time and temporary employees.
“Through a process that reviewed all functions within the university and responded to factors that could not be changed during the current fiscal year, we developed a personnel cost reduction plan that reduced community-based services that do not directly support our mission and eliminated some staffing. All of these changes will result in changes in, and elimination of, some of the work we do,” Morris wrote, “As a result, 13 currently filled positions have been eliminated—with seven individuals having bumping rights or access to other roles, two with reduced hours and four transitioning out of the University.”
Morris said, the employees affected are being notified and changes in the impacted offices would take place immediately.
The SSU Trustees recently approved a budget recommended by Morris that was reduced by $4 million dollars 7.3 percent when compared to previous years.
In a released statement Morris said the reduction was “in response to a set of circumstances that have dramatically altered the university’s resources and operations.”
“Three factors have put intense pressure upon our university resources, the shift in the state funding formula to a focus upon course completion and timely graduation rates and resulting funding cuts effective this fiscal year; A change in the role our reserves play in providing our economic stability in challenging economic times; and a significant impact from a drop in enrollment this semester following a decline last year.”
Throughout this process the functions of two SSU offices have been realigned. The office community services and the office of outreach have been closed.
“These difficult changes are critical to our ability to address our institution’s immediate and future financial challenges while continuing to protect and serve our core mission. I know the transitions ahead of us will be challenging and I thank you for all you will do to help us support our colleagues and continue to advance our mission,” Morris said.
To keep the SSU community informed about changes being made, a website has been established, www.shawnee.edu/off/pres/budget.html.
For more information about Shawnee State University and its many services and activities visit, www.shawnee.edu.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.