Budget forces administration to cut positions

Ten positions on the Simpson College campus will be cut within the next week due to budget constraints.

By Jan. 20, all faculty, staff and administration who are being laid off will have been identified. They will serve in their positions until May 31 and then their positions will be terminated.

Simpson College President John Byrd met with faculty, staff and administration today to speak about the current state of the school.

While spring enrollment looks promising with 27 new transfers and four new freshmen, the college overall is preparing for only a “somewhat improvement” for the upcoming academic year of 2012-2013.

“We’re taking in to account the enrollment and not planning too high,” Byrd said.

For the time being, all open positions will be frozen, administration is looking for faculty to change from full-time to part-time positions and 10 positions will be cut from across the college campus.

On top of the lay-offs taking place at Simpson College, there is also a voluntary tenure buyout program in place for the faculty. The stipulations of this buyout are that the full-time tenured faculty who will be 59 years old and who have 10 years of full-time service by the end of this school year.

With the buyout, the faculty member would have to resign effective May 31, 2012 and then they will receive a tenure buy-out package and enter into retirement or other post-life Simpson.

Another initiative to keep Simpson on-track is by bringing in the Austin Group who will “conduct a curriculum and cost analysis for Simpson.” The Austin Group is brought in to provide data about the long-term shaping of the curriculum, but they don’t make choices. They will provide Simpson College with the data, and then Simpson will decide where to go with the data provided.

While all of the cuts on campus are still being made, the school still plans on moving forward with the wellness facility. The funds will come through donations. The Kent Campus Center construction is still on time, and the administration still hopes to close C St.

Furthermore, the administration will be beginning stage one of the Space Planning Process in order to build a new academic building on campus. Along with this build, the administration will also be moving forward with the land acquisition of the Catholic Church in town. President Byrd said that the land acquisition funds would come from “another account.”

That isn’t it, though. Delta Delta Delta has also been given an offer to have a new house built for them.

All of these initiatives will have different fundraisers, due to the fact that the Board of Trustees has not considered taking out any loans to help the financial situation at the college.

Regardless of the situation Simpson is in, Byrd remains optimistic about future of the college.

“I’m still optimistic about us turning things around,” Byrd said. “Some of what we experienced is just bad luck…we’re committed to transparency. There are no secrets here.”