Elizabeth City State University announced Monday that 46 employees in departments across the university will be laid off in order to address a $5 million budget shortfall caused by state funding cuts and declining enrollment.
All of the affected employees were notified Monday that their employment at ECSU will end in the next several weeks.
Campus faculty and staff were notified earlier this month of the budget shortfall by ECSU interim Chancellor Charles Becton and UNC President Tom Ross.
The university says that because personnel costs account for about 80% of ECSU’s operating expenditures, the institution’s budget could not be balanced without significant staffing reductions. .
In sharing news of the layoffs with the campus community, Chancellor Becton said, “In making painful, but necessary, reduction-in-force decisions, our first priority has been to protect classroom instruction for students. We evaluated every school, division, and department to identify potential cost savings. In an effort to minimize the impact on employees, we first eliminated 41 vacant positions and discontinued 34 temporary employment contracts. Although we made no staffing cuts in public safety, given the need to maintain a safe campus environment, most other areas of the university were affected.”
He added that impacted employees will be treated with compassion and dignity during a very difficult time for everyone involved. ECSU has established a Transition Center where affected employees will have access to outplacement services, employee transition services, computer resources, and an on-campus job fair. Northeastern Workforce Development will also be on-site to provide additional services. ECSU will work with affected employees individually and collectively to support their efforts to pursue other career opportunities.