NEW ORLEANS -- In all, 115 faculty members and staff at Delgado Community College will soon be without a job after the Louisiana Technical and Community College System Board of Supervisors approved Delgado’s cost-cutting plan Wednesday.
It's the school’s second round of layoffs this year. In February, 46 staff members were laid off.
For everyone involved in the campus, it's an end to the school year that no one wanted or expected.
Charlie Hoffacker is a painter by hobby, but he's a student at Delgado Community College to change that.
“I'm kind of in limbo right now. Definitely in a state of shock,” he said.
Hoffacker said he’s wondering what the campus will look like next year after hearing Wednesday that 115 people, 64 faculty and 51 staff are getting laid off.
“The real reason I came here was because of the faculty. Because the faculty wants to be here,” he said.
On Wednesday, classes had already wrapped up for the semester, but students on campus for exams all seemed shocked by the news that so many are losing their jobs.
None of the laid off faculty members would do an interview with us on camera, but many told us they're wondering how administrators decided who to cut.
“We looked to maintain those faculty members who had the broadest range of the courses that they could teach,” said Dr. Monty Sullivan, chancellor of Delgado Community College, in a phone interview Wednesday after the board had approved his plan for cost reductions.
The school had to plug an $8 million mid-year hole in its budget.
Dr. Phillips said the state doubled the school's mandatory contribution for employees' retirement and benefits, adding $10 million in expenses.
“Four years ago, Delgado's budget was two-thirds funded by the state of Louisiana and one third funded by tuition. In the current fiscal year, we are two-thirds funded by tuition,” Sullivan said.
The whole thing still has students like Hoffacker wondering why changes to higher education in Louisiana and to Delgado have to be done with such a broad brush.
“If you're getting rid of the faculty as well, that's the reason you go here. There's really no reason to go here at a certain point,” Hoffacker said.
The school is also cutting 15 degree and certificate programs from its curriculum.
The programs that are on the chopping block include:
Technical Study Certificate Programs:
- Environmental Studies
- Cosmetology Teacher/Trainer
- Collision Repair Technology
- Diesel Power Technology
- Graphics and Editing Assistance
- Energy Assistance Technician
- Office Assistant
Associate of Applied Science:
-Administrative Office Technology
Associate of Arts in Performance and Media Arts:
-Print and Broadcast Journalism
A letter from Delgado's Chancellor Monty Sullivan laid out the cost savings measure that he said were necessary.
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.
"Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with each employee impacted," said Sullivan's statement. "Their service to Delgado Community College and our students is deeply appreciated and will not soon be forgotten."
Faculty members whose jobs are being eliminated were notified in person starting late last week, according to the Chancellor.