Pittsburg State University is cutting 19 jobs.
The number of full-time employees at the university has dropped by more 7 percent when combined with other cuts over the last 18 months. The university is blaming the layoffs on a lack of state funding, rising costs and dropping enrollment.
“We’ve joined with the Kansas Board of Regents in actively advocating for additional state funding for many years,” Pittsburg State University President Steve Scott said in a news release. “Those efforts have clearly, and sadly, not resonated with the legislative leadership."
Amy Hite, the faculty senate president at Pittsburg State, says there were lots of budget town halls and meetings about the budget, but that the university had to make difficult decisions to balance the budget.
“I don’t think that any faculty member or staff member is probably surprised,” Hite said.
The Kansas Legislature is considering restoring some funding for higher education in this year's budget plan. Hite said faculty members need to make sure the Kansas Legislature knows the impact that stagnant funding is having at state universities.
“It’s time for us to be proactive, and somewhat reactive, to what is happening in Topeka,” she said.
Stephan Bisaha, based at KMUW in Wichita, is an education reporter for the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KMUW, Kansas Public Radio, KCUR and High Plains Public Radio covering health, education and politics. Follow him on Twitter @SteveBisaha. Kansas News Service stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to the original post.
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