Jobs could be on chopping block at local university - WNEM TV 5

Jobs could be on chopping block at local university

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MT. PLEASANT, MI (WNEM) -

Several jobs could be on the chopping block at a local university.

Central Michigan University is currently facing a $14 million shortfall, and by July, that number could be as high as $20 million.

Students on campus said they are worried what that could mean for them.

“Yeah a bit, it could take activities away from students that we enjoy or organizations,” said Kayla Waple, a sophomore at the university.

While some students at CMU are worried about how a large budget deficit could affect their day to day life on campus, others said they trust the university to make the tough cuts.

“I have faith that they'll do the best they can with what we have,” said Andrew Vriesman, a junior.

Barrie Wilkes, the university’s Vice President of Finance said students won't see the effects of the budget cuts.

Things like scholarships, academics programs, and student services won't be touched.

“We are not going to put through a large tuition increase in order to balance the budget. We believe that access is critical for students and parents,” Wilkes said.

Wilkes said the reason for the potential $20 million deficit is enrollment. Fewer students are graduating high school and choosing CMU.

Most likely, this shortfall will result in faculty layoffs.

“It's painful anytime you're reducing budgets. It's painful when it results in layoffs, which it probably will. It has a real hard impact on individuals which we're trying to minimize,” Wilkes said.

How many layoffs and which departments will be affected most is still unclear.

When CMU get its enrollment numbers next year they will have a better idea, but that won't happen until July.

It has some students worried about the quality of their education.

“That could a cause a problem in the classroom because then there's less one-on-one time with the teacher and more students in the classroom,” Waple said.

The university will tell those affected by the layoffs around the beginning of May, though they hope to minimize how many that will be. 

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