President Gaudino announces layoffs

Mitchell Roland, Editor-in-Chief

Citing reduced enrollment and a limited number of students living on campus, CWU President James L. Gaudino announced in an email to the campus community this morning that 56 positions at the Ellensburg campus have been eliminated.

These layoffs constitute 3% of CWU’s workforce, and will take effect on Nov. 6, according to Human Resources Executive Director Staci Sleigh-Layman. Sleigh Layman said the impacted employees will be notified in roughly a week.

“The decision to implement the layoffs was very difficult, and I understand the impact it has on members of our Wildcat family. Our Human Resources Department will work with each affected employee to help during this difficult time,” the email read.

The positions were eliminated from housing, dining services, facilities, computing and supervision. Gaudino said in the statement these departments “have lowered workloads resulting from fewer residential students, fewer in-person classes and fewer employees working on-site.”

Gaudino said CWU has experienced a 5% overall reduction in student enrollment, and said he is concerned the state will reduce financial support given to colleges and universities.

“Fewer students mean less revenue,” Gaudino said. “Adding to the problem, I remain convinced the state will be forced to reduce spending for higher education in the current and subsequent biennial.”

This reduction in staffing comes after Gaudino eliminated 140 positions through a hiring freeze earlier this year. In the email, Gaudino said while there will be no additional layoffs or reductions in hours in 2020, he could not guarantee there would not be additional layoffs.

Gaudino is hosting a 10 a.m. town hall today where Chief Financial Officer Joel Klucking will give an update regarding the budget, and Vice President for Enrollment Management Josh Hibbard will give an update on fall enrollment.