Upper Iowa University Cutting Faculty and Regional Education Centers
“The position eliminations reflect current enrollments and projections that significant growth in higher education is unlikely in the immediate future”
Lower enrollment combined with the pandemic is the issue here. It’s a familiar story.
The Gazette reports:
Upper Iowa University announces layoffs, site closures
Northeast Iowa’s 166-year-old Upper Iowa University is cutting 37 positions and closing seven of its more than 20 regional education centers due to dropping enrollment, shifting student needs and headwinds facing all of higher education.
The cuts include 22 layoffs at the private university’s main campus in Fayette and 15 positions lost in Upper Iowa’s closure of its single Illinois location in Rockford and six Wisconsin sites, including locations in Madison and Milwaukee.
The changes are part of the university’s efforts to focus on its main residential Fayette Campus; its strongest performing centers in Iowa, Louisiana and four military bases; and its online and self-paced distance learning programs, according to Upper Iowa spokeswoman Lynette Brandt.
“The position eliminations reflect current enrollments and projections that significant growth in higher education is unlikely in the immediate future,” Brandt said. “Like many industries, higher education is evolving at a rapid pace, as are the needs and outcomes for students.”
Upper Iowa — founded in 1857, just over a decade after Iowa became a state — in the fall reported a total enrollment of 3,072, up slightly from 3,027 in fall 2021 but down 43 percent from the 5,382 it reported in fall 2018, according to Iowa College Aid.
The Fayette-based school isn’t alone in its enrollment losses — with Iowa’s total private college and university enrollment dropping from 51,330 in fall 2017 to 46,881 in fall 2022. Iowa’s public university enrollment has slid from 81,621 to 68,933 over that same period; its community college enrollment is down to 82,251 from 90,531 in 2017.
“While our enrollment on the Fayette Campus and at many of our non-residential locations have seen modest growth or remained flat this past year, our enrollments are reduced from pre-pandemic levels,” Brandt said.
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Bet they aren’t reducing their DEI staff.