St. Cloud State University Cutting Majors and Faculty Positions Amid $18 Million Deficit
“We just can’t keep our fingers crossed anymore. We just have to do it”
Lower enrollment, combined with the pandemic. We’ve seen this same story over and over.
The Star Tribune reports:
St. Cloud State to phase out 6 majors, cut 23 faculty positions amid looming $18 million deficit
St. Cloud State University will phase out six majors and cut three dozen jobs in the wake of a looming $18.3 million deficit projected for the upcoming school year, according to leaders at the central Minnesota school.
The majors to be phased out are philosophy, theater, nuclear medicine technology, real estate and insurance at the undergraduate level, as well as marriage and family therapy at the graduate level.
Students currently enrolled in those majors, the number of which ranges from one student majoring in insurance to 30 students majoring in real estate, will be able to finish their degree programs. But the suspension of those majors will allow the university to reallocate resources into programs with higher demand and dig out of the deficit, according to St. Cloud State President Robbyn Wacker, who announced the budget cuts Wednesday.
“It just makes sense to refresh and renew and re-examine — based on the ‘It’s Time’ framework — what makes sense for degree offerings,” she said, referencing the strategy launched in 2019 that refines the university’s niche study areas and student experience.
The university will also lay off 23 faculty and 14 staff, which will save more than $4.1 million in the coming year, as well as offer early separation incentives for employees to help pick away at the university’s structural deficit, which leaders define as a chronic gap between the revenue and expenses. In recent years, the structural deficit has been exacerbated by the steady enrollment decline — which wasn’t met with a similar decline in staffing levels — and the pandemic.
“We just can’t keep our fingers crossed anymore. We just have to do it,” Wacker said, noting university leaders hope the budget cuts and other operational adjustments will reduce the deficit to a point where the university’s revenues outpace expenses by 2026.
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The only real surprise there is theatre. There’s no demand for that among narcissists?
What I want to see is a list of courses “in demand” that are in no danger of being cut. My styrometer is warmed up and ready to rumble.