ELIZABETH CITY -- Chancellor Charles Becton announced Tuesday that a $4 million budget shortfall for fiscal year 2014-2015 led to the reduction of Elizabeth City State University's labor force by 34 employees.
Becton said the reduction will align the organization with the size of the institution's current student population and improve its operational efficiency metrics.
According to Becton, when he began serving the university in July of 2013, the ECSU's financial outlook was precarious due to interrelated factors:
- Enrollment declines had resulted in the loss of tuition revenue and associated state funding for FY 2013-14 totaling $4.2 million.
- Those significant losses were compounded by additional budget cuts mandated by the 2013 General Assembly. Our share of those reductions amounted to an additional was $1.2 million for FY 2013-14.
- Initial budget projections for FY 2014-2015 showed another budget shortfall of $4.4 million.
The 2013-14 budget shortfall totaled $5.4 million which have proven to have a multi-year impact on the entire campus.
According to a university news release, 'For the current fiscal year (2013-2014), administrators implemented several rightsizing measures designed to better align the campus budget with the size of our current enrollment. Savings from these measures totaled $5.45 million; unfortunately, they included a reduction-in-force of 46 employees last fall. To keep employee layoffs to a minimum, administrators also, eliminated several vacant positions, and ended a number of temporary employee contracts.'
Savings from the reductions will provide resources for critical organizational priorities and mounting expenses, according to the news release.
The chancellor said growth is the university's best hope, and they plan to achieve that goal through continuous recruiting efforts that target traditional students, nontraditional students, transfer students currently attending regional community colleges, prospective students at the U.S. Coast Guard base, and other military installations.