Ivy Tech Community College eliminates positions to save money

2013-07-03T19:30:00Z 2013-07-05T13:15:06Z Ivy Tech Community College eliminates positions to save moneyCarmen McCollum carmen.mccollum@nwi.com, (219) 662-5337 nwitimes.com

Several employees have been laid off at Ivy Tech Community College as a result of the recent merger of the northwest and north central regions effective July 15, a college spokesman has confirmed.

Three are from the northwest region, which includes East Chicago, Gary, Valparaiso and Michigan City.

College officials said a month ago it is facing a $68 million deficit and will have to eliminate jobs and programs to operate more efficiently. Officials said then 10 positions would be eliminated.

After the retirement of Lupe Valtierra as chancellor at Ivy Tech Community College Northwest in December, Ivy Tech combined the northwest and north central regions. North Central Chancellor Thomas Coley now oversees the combined region.

Ivy Tech spokesman Jeff Fanter confirmed Wednesday the administrators whose jobs are being eliminated at the northwest campus include Forrest W. "Bill" Thon, executive director of Corporate College; Karen Williams, executive director of marketing and communication; and Keith Howard, vice chancellor for student affairs. In addition, Dawn Thostesen, director of finance, and David Gidcumb, director of computer and information services, are no longer employed at the northwest campus, Fanter said. None of them could be reached for comment.

At the north central campus, the positions occupied by Keith Branham, vice chancellor for student affairs; James Jasiewicz, executive director of facilities; and Tracie Davis, executive director of marketing and communication, have been eliminated, Fanter said. In addition, the vice chancellor of academics and the financial aid director at South Bend retired, he said.

Ivy Tech officials estimate the reductions could produce a savings of $1.1 million in salary and benefits.

"As consolidation of roles continues, we expect that number to increase with operational efficiency. Not staffing, but operational. No further changes to announce at this point," Fanter said Wednesday.

Ivy Tech officials also are looking at their leased space which does not have state support. The leased space at Portage is under review, only 155 students are enrolled in classes at that site. No other sites in the Northwest region are under review.

Eight years ago, Ivy Tech became a statewide community college system, moving from a vocational and technical school.

Ivy Tech took over for other universities' regional campuses as Indiana's provider of associate degrees and handling most of Indiana's dual-credit and remedial programs.

Ivy Tech officials have said the community college does not get enough state money per pupil — a situation that added to its budget deficit, even though state appropriations for Ivy Tech have grown since 2005.

The South Bend Tribune contributed to this report.

This story has a correction.

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