The University of Wyoming (UW) is considering significant restructuring — including massive layoffs — to address budget cuts by the state in recent years.
UW President Ed Seidel has proposed eliminating degree programs with the lowest enrollment and possibly combining other colleges with overlapping courses to eliminate redundancies.
University spokesperson Chad Baldwin admitted that if given the greenlight, these adjustments will cause the termination of 10 department heads and other tenured positions by fall 2022.
“The magnitude of what we are proposing is, as far as we can tell, unprecedented in the university’s modern history,” said Kevin Carman, UW provost and executive vice president. “But, the situation we face as a university, with a 25% drop in state funding in recent years and a need to respond to changing times, necessitates a reconsideration of the way we’re structured and what we offer.”
To save money, the board of trustees voted to close academic programs and leave around 80 faculty vacancies unfilled in February.
With the latest proposed layoffs and reallocations, the school is set to reduce the annual budget by $13 million since programs saved from the chopping block will still get a 3 percent budget cut.
Casper Star Tribune reported that the proposal includes “across-the-board reductions for academic programs and administrative offices, reduction of sick-leave accrual, centralizing administrative functions, restructuring debt and increasing parking fees.”
On a positive note, however, Seidel has recommended the addition of a school of computing, Wyoming Outdoor Recreation, and a center for entrepreneurship to help students enter the state’s workforce after graduation