Southeast MO State President announces position cuts to balance budget

(Source: KFVS)
(Source: KFVS)

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Southeast Missouri University President Dr. Carlos Vargas has announced that dozens of positions will be eliminated in an effort to balance the University's budget.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Jan. 9, Vargas said that 35-40 vacant and currently filled positions will be cut. He said 20-25 of those positions are filled and 15-20 are vacant.

The first round of layoff notifications will take place from Jan. 29-Feb. 2. No currently filled academic positions will be among the cuts, according to Vargas. During questioning after his statement, Vargas said the first round of cuts will be staff members.

The second round of notifications will begin in late April or early May after the academic restructuring process is complete.

The affected employees will have five months of remaining employment once they are notified that their position is being cut.

Vargas said the cuts amount to four percent of the University's full-time workforce.

The University's 2018 Financial Year budget need is $6.6 million, which includes a nine percent reduction in state appropriations.

Dr. Vargas has already accepted budget-saving measures including; a Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program, which resulted in 74 faculty and staff retirements between Dec. 31, 2017 to Dec. 31, 2018; 18.5 vacant staff positions will be cut and changes to the University's employee and retirement benefits program.

A four-month hiring delay will remain in effect at Southeast to help in the budgets for 2019 and 2020.

He called the action "necessary" due to the current budget.

In September 2017 the university announced plans to make changes in response to budget cuts. At the time they said it could include administrative cuts.

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