Akron: The University of Akron has told some staffers that their jobs are being eliminated because of budget constraints.
“Fewer than six” employees were told this week that they will lose their jobs because of a budget shortfall originally pegged at $27.6 million. More may be notified.
Provost Mike Sherman emailed faculty and staff on Friday about the job eliminations that were originally expected to total 100.
“Most of those  positions were already vacant or the result of retirements, and we continue to learn about other resignations and retirements,” he wrote.
“Nonetheless, there are some currently filled positions that are being scheduled for elimination.”
Officials announced the cuts earlier this year as they wrangled with closing a $27.6 million budget gap.
Trustees approved a 2013-14 budget in June that included $30 million in cuts and the elimination of 100 positions. Enrollment was expected to be flat or to decline slightly.
Chief financial officer David Cummins promised trustees then that he would be back for more cuts if enrollment declined beyond that, and apparently it is expected to.
In his email, Sherman said the newest projections show a 5 to 7 percent decline in enrollment over last year. Fall semester will begin in less than a month on Aug. 28.
So officials will have to modify the original budget, Sherman told the campus.
Top officials are asking deans and vice presidents to review their budgets for further “efficiencies.”
“Some additional position eliminations may also be necessary,” Sherman said.
The revised budget will be presented to trustees at their October meeting, he said.
“At that point, we will communicate the full impact of fluctuations in enrollment,” he said.
The university’s first budget included several strategies to close the budget gap, from increasing tuition 2 percent to freezing wages to cutting budgets for academic units by 5 percent and for support units by 8 percent.
The university also offered to permanently reduce the work week for volunteer employees, such as mothers who wanted to be off in the summer to be with their children. Only four employees chose to cut their hours, said UA spokeswoman Eileen Korey.
This will likely be the second year in a row that UA enrollment has declined. Last year’s enrollment dropped 3.5 percent, in part because UA is referring under prepared students to community colleges.
At this time last year, 145 applicants were referred elsewhere. So far this year, 342 have been referred elsewhere, Korey said.
Carol Biliczky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-996-3729.