PITTSBURG, Kan. — Pittsburg State University officials have announced they will cut 19 positions due to stagnant state funding, increasing costs and enrollment pressures, according to a statement today from the university.
Employees affected by the layoff have been notified and will continue to be paid through mid-June, receive job placement assistance through the university’s Office of Career Services, and have preferred status for university job openings over the next 12 months.
"We’re going to do everything possible to help them in this difficult time,” PSU President Steve Scott said in a statement.
Pittsburg State has faced declining enrollment in recent years, especially in international students. It also has faced increasing costs and declining state funding, which remains at the same level it was in 2006. Had state funding kept pace with inflation during that time, Pittsburg State would have seen its general fund budget increase by nearly $9 million, officials have said.
“We’ve joined with the Kansas Board of Regents in actively advocating for additional state funding for many years,” Scott said. “Those efforts have clearly, and sadly, not resonated with the legislative leadership. Our employees shouldn’t have to face the uncertainty that results from this stagnant funding. As we look ahead, we remain concerned about our state leaders’ lack of interest in higher education and, ultimately, in the future of the state. Our employees, our university and our community deserve better.”
The layoffs are part of a long-term cost reduction plan by the university, officials said. Since late 2016, the university has cut general fund budgets by nearly $5 million, including the prior reduction of 47 full-time positions. When combined with today’s job cuts, the university will have reduced its full-time employees by more than 7 percent over the past 18 months.
This story will be updated later today.