Central to cut 56 positions

Aaron Kunkler, Staff Reporter

Budget restrictions are forcing Central to look for ways to cut costs and increase revenue.

One way in which the administration hopes to do this is by cutting 56 positions across campus. According to Linda Schactler, chief of staff, 40 of these positions are currently vacant. In total, the university is looking at a three percent net reduction in budgeted positions by June 30 of this year.

“Now we’re in the process of closing a 6.5 million dollar budget gap,” Schactler said.

Funding from the state and allowances on raising tuition are set by the state legislature every four years. In 2011, the legislature allowed Central to raise tuition, but froze the decision last spring.

Consequently, Central has to make up for the aforementioned $6.5 million budget gap without raising tuition.

Proposed position cuts would come from four different areas on campus: Academic and Student Life could lose 21 vacant or retiring positions, as well as 12 other staff; operations would lose 15 positions; the president’s division would cut three vacant positions and one filled position, and the Business and Financial Affairs department would cut four vacant, temporary and retirement positions.

Coupled with these are some projected revenue increases from higher efficiency and competition for students and funding between different colleges.
Hiring would also be done in accordance with a “soft budget freeze,” which is when Central only hires necessary positions. Other areas of improvement may involve decreasing technology costs.

Schactler said the reduction of 90 internet servers in favor of cloud-based computing helps keep expenditures down.
The university has until June to figure out how to reconcile the budget deficit.

Schactler said there are a few parties currently negotiating, including the faculty senate, Washington State Federation of State Employees and the public school employees unions.

While these may be steps towards making the college financially sustainable, it is a means to an end for the university.
“[We’re] in the midst of finding a permanent closure to that budget gap,” Schactler said, referring to the 6.5 million dollar budget shortfall.