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IPFW to begin layoffs

FORT WAYNE – IPFW will begin announcing layoffs this week as part of a plan to close an $8.4 million budget deficit, Chancellor Vicky Carwein announced to faculty and staff in an email Monday.

The university is facing a budget deficit due to declining enrollment, increasing expenses and uncertainty of state funding levels.

IPFW Vice Chancellor of Financial Affairs Walt Branson has said previously that the budget deficit would be at least $4.2 million, but IT could rise up to about $9 million depending on increasing costs and state funding levels.

For several months, IPFW has been developing a plan to trim its budget with input from the university community, including academic departments.

According to Carwein’s email, the plan includes “reductions in service, elimination of unfilled positions and layoffs. It also includes an assumption of a very modest increase in tuition and no annual salary increases for the coming year.”

She said the plan will eliminate 24.5 unfilled positions with layoffs totaling 15.5 positions. These reductions in personnel will achieve $2.2 million in savings.

“I know that layoffs are rare in the history of IPFW, and we are all troubled by the thought that members of our community will be losing their campus employment at the end of the current fiscal year,” Carwein wrote. “We remain committed to pursuing opportunities to reduce the negative impact of these necessary layoffs on the individuals whose positions will be eliminated.”

Carwein said the plan may require re-evaluation depending on the legislature’s two-year budget, which will establish state funding levels, and enrollment in the fall.

About 40 percent of IPFW’s roughly $112 million general fund budget comes from state appropriations. About 55 percent comes from student tuition and fees, and 5 percent comes from other miscellaneous sources.

Any tuition increase requires a public hearing and approval from the Purdue University Board of Trustees.

Earlier this year, IPFW made some changes in its physical plant operations in light of its budget woes. Third-shift cleaning crews were moved to second shift, so mechanical systems can be shut off when buildings are not in use. Trash pickup and mail delivery has also become less frequent on campus.