WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Jefferson Community College is is cutting 20 jobs as it faces a budget shortfall of more than $5 million.
The positions include faculty as well as classified, professional and management-confidential staff.
JCC said it’s working with displaced employees “to make this transition as smooth as possible.”
In a memo to the campus community, college President Dr. Ty Stone updated workers about the budget, pandemic-related issues and the loss of state funding.
“It is with deep regret that I am announcing that we must reduce our workforce. These changes in personnel are necessary to protect the ongoing sustainability of the College,” she wrote. “We all know this will be a painful process, and that we, as a campus family, will be grieving with our impacted employees. I am making the commitment on behalf of myself and Cabinet to lead with compassion, above all else, during this challenging time.”
According to JCC, the COVID-19 pandemic struck at a time when higher education was already facing significant financial challenges.
The college said a number of factors were considered, including:
- Projected enrollment declines stemming from shrinking populations and post-pandemic uncertainty ranging from 14-24%
- Pre-pandemic decrease in state aid
- Anticipated additional decrease in state funding support ranging from 30%-50% post-pandemic
- Costs associated with safely re-opening the college post-pandemic
- Long-term sustainability
Other actions taken to balance the budget included decreases in equipment purchases and contractual services, along with decreases in part-time professional and adjunct budgets.
Additionally, members of the leadership team will not receive pay raises.
The college said after these reductions, a budget shortfall remained which required personnel realignment and a reduction in workforce.
JCC said it will “embed critical services, streamline degree paths, and enhance the learner experience to serve our students well.”