RALEIGH: Saint Augustine's announces layoffs, furloughs - WSPA.com

St. Aug's announces layoffs, furloughs as it works to bounce-back

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

To "strengthen the financial stability of the university," the interim Saint Augustine's University president announced Thursday that a number of employees will be laid off and others will see a week-long furlough in July.

Interim President Everett B. Ward announced a plan that includes a 4 percent workforce reduction amounting to 13 positions, and 31 12-month employees will move to 10-month schedules.

The furlough, Ward said, will be Jul 7 through 12 for all employees except essential personnel, such as campus security and the Office of Student Health.

"These types of decisions are never easy and I have the utmost respect for each and every one of our employees," Ward said. "Although we have identified other areas to improve our financial efficiency without compromising the needs of our students, the personnel decisions were necessary as these expenses represent the largest part of the university’s annual budget."

Ward said the actions will result in an immediate cost savings to the institution of approximately $360,000 and a long-term cost savings of approximately $680,000 for a total savings of little more than $1 million.

Ward said he expects the actions to remain in place through his 18-month tenure.

"I think our financial condition certainly is an emergency situation which requires we take the necessary steps to bring financial stability to the university, but I do believe that all the measures we’re taking have a managerial foundation," Ward said.

The actions come as the university continues to right itself from financial troubles.

Enrollment at St. Aug's has fallen by 27 percent in the past 14 years, and the university blames its $3 million debt on a drop in tuition revenue.

The troubles led to the ouster of then-university President Dianne Boardley Suber.

St. Aug's was founded in 1867, only two years after the end of the Civil War.

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