Randolph, VT- Vermont State University has announced that 33 staff positions will be cut as part of the university’s plan to lower spending.
According to a release issued by the university Fri. morning, 21 of the 33 positions are at the executive, management, or supervisory level. Officials with the university estimate that VTSU has roughly 20% more administrative staff than similar universities, which they attribute to the university’s multiple campuses and the need to staff all three locations.
In the release, Interim Pres. Mike Smith said, “This is a hard process for all, but it’s especially difficult for impacted staff. These team members have given innumerable contributions over their years of service to VTSU and I want to thank and honor our colleagues for their work.”
These changes are estimated to save $3.1 million annually.
Officials hope that budget cuts such as these, in addition to growing enrollment in some of their more popular programs will help close the budget deficits in the next three years.
As part of Vermont Act 74 in 2021, VTSU was granted millions in funding but ordered to lower its deficit by $5 million per year, which led the university to rein in spending by reducing redundancies in personnel.
“The need to restructure and reorganize is the result of a changing economy and the shifting role of higher and continuing education shared across the country,” Smith said, “These caring and dedicated teammates will always be part of the VTSU family, and my pledge is to work with the unions to ensure a financial relief package that reflects our respect for their service.”
In the university’s full report on administrative optimization, they explained that six of the positions are currently vacant, and staff in two of the other positions are planning on retiring.
Among the positions being eliminated are four Associate Deans of Students positions, and one Assoc. Director of Advising, and one Assistant Director of Applied Learning Opportunities. Two positions are being eliminated in the Registrar’s office. Three Academic Staff Assistants have the option of taking a voluntary buyout. A full breakdown can be found in the full report linked above.
Smith also recommended cutting retirement benefits in order to pay under-salaried staff better.
Smith’s stint as president is scheduled to end at the end of Oct. with incoming Interim Pres. David Bergh is set to take over.
In the release, Bergh said, “This work has been hard; I know, and more challenges lie ahead for us as we implement these recommendations, but I am optimistic about the university’s future and am energized and ready to be part of it.”