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IPFW will cut 15.5 jobs, leave another 24.5 unfilled to meet budget constraint

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 - 12:01 am

IPFW will lay off 15.5 positions and decline to fill 24.5 open positions to help close a deficit of $8.5 million in its budget, the university chancellor told employees in an email Monday.

“Notifications regarding layoffs will begin this week. The reductions in personnel will result in $2.2 million in savings,” Chancellor Vicky L. Carwein wrote. Walt Branson, IPFW's vice chancellor for financial affairs, said he expects the notifications to be wrapped up in the course of the next week or two. Most layoffs will take effect no later than June 30, although instruction this semester should not be affected, Branson said.

The layoffs at IPFW dovetail with a press to hold down costs by Purdue President Mitch Daniels so that Purdue can hold tuition steady for the next two years. In order to keep tuition flat, Daniels wrote in a statement Monday, Purdue must find cuts of $40 million over the same period.

“I know that layoffs are rare in the history of IPFW, and we are all troubled by the thought that members of our community will be losing their campus employment at the end of the current fiscal year,” Carwein wrote to employees Monday. “We remain committed to pursuing opportunities to reduce the negative impact of these necessary layoffs on the individuals whose positions will be eliminated.”

One possibility for reducing those impacts: In the same email to employees, Carwein said, “our first priority in the event additional funds become available will be to restore faculty positions.” The road to a budget in balance isn't clear yet, though.

“The approved plan (to meet the budget deficit) includes reductions in service, elimination of unfilled positions and layoffs. It also includes an assumption of a very modest increase in tuition and no annual salary increases for the coming year,” she wrote. The plan might be inadequate to the budget challenge if, for example, the General Assembly appropriates less money than anticipated for the school or IPFW's enrollment is smaller than projected.