Delgado Chancellor's letter to faculty and staff

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wwltv.com

Posted on May 8, 2013 at 12:02 PM

Message from Delgado Chancellor Monty Sullivan...

Dear Delgado Faculty and Staff Members,

The Spring 2013 semester is quickly drawing to a close and we are looking forward to celebrating the success of our students at commencement.  This academic year has brought its share of financial challenges.  Commencement is a unique opportunity to emphasize the importance of the work we do in changing the lives of our students.  I look forward to seeing you there.

As you recall from our discussions, the college identified a budget deficit early in FY2013 of approximately $14 million.  The deficit is a result of several factors including multiple cuts in state funds, increasing mandated costs, and a slight reduction in enrollment in the current fiscal year.

After taking substantial cost savings steps for the last eight months including the elimination of 46 administrative and staff positions saving approximately $3 million, the college faces a remaining budget deficit of approximately $8 million.  We have made the difficult decision to use $8 million of the college's $10 million reserves to close the books for FY2013.  With this step, the college faces a structural deficit going into FY2014 that requires immediate action.  Therefore, we proposed and gained approval of a series of steps by the Board of Supervisors of the LCTCS at its May 2013 meeting today.  Some of those steps are as follows:

1) Continue with freeze of non-essential travel,
2) Continue with freeze of non-essential hiring,
3) Continue with freeze of non-essential expenditures, and
4) Offer an additional retirement incentive package for employees
5) Move to a four day operational schedule during Summer 2013 to reduce energy costs
6) Reduce the athletics budget, and
7) Eliminate 115 positions (64 faculty and 51 administrative/staff) effective June 3, 2013.

The proposal will eliminate over $5 million in costs annually.  Combined, the February position eliminations and the proposed eliminations will save the college about $8 million annually.  While the final FY2014 budget is still being developed in the legislative process, these steps will align the college's budget in FY2014 and hopefully stabilize the budget going forward.

Beginning last Thursday afternoon and concluding early this week, we held conversations with each employee impacted by the reduction in force.  Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with each employee impacted.  We have taken every step to be as fair as possible with impacted employees in particular extending benefits to those employees as far out as possible.  Their service to Delgado Community College and our students is deeply appreciated and will not soon be forgotten.

The package approved by the Board today also included the elimination of 15 academic programs.  I am asking Vice Chancellor Lea to provide the college with a full briefing on the program eliminations.

Delgado Community College has been a tremendous source of light and hope for generations of people from the Greater New Orleans region.  We will emerge from this season of financial challenges a stronger institution even better able to deliver on our mission.  I look forward to a day in the weeks ahead in which we can turn the financial corner and focus our full energies on serving the workforce needs of our region.  Your support, encouragement, and advice throughout this process has been extraordinary.  Thanks for all that you do for Delgado Community College.

Sincerely,

Monty Sullivan
Chancellor

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