SOUTH BEND | About 10 administrative positions are expected to be eliminated this summer in Ivy Tech Community College’s newly merged north central/northwest region, according to Chancellor Thomas Coley.
The positions have been determined and the individuals who hold those jobs have been notified, but details have not yet been publicly released. The layoffs are expected to occur by mid-July.
“These are steps we are taking in light of being underfunded, without jeopardizing the quality of services we are providing to our students,” Coley said. There are no plans for faculty or staff layoffs at this time, he said.
The administrative reductions are part of Ivy Tech’s response to financial woes, including a budget deficit that now stands at $68 million statewide.
Coley said he presented his proposal for cuts last week to Ivy Tech President Thomas Snyder and the executive board of Ivy Tech’s board of trustees during a closed executive session held in Fort Wayne.
No vote by the board of trustees is required in order to move ahead with the job reductions, according to Jeff Fanter, Ivy Tech’s statewide vice president for communications, enrollment and marketing.
Coley said he already has met individually with the administrators whose jobs will be eliminated. “I’ve shared with them the direction we’re going,” he said. Those employees will receive official written notice within the next week or so that their jobs will be cut, he said.
“We’re in a tight squeeze. We have to make some tough choices,” he said.
Ivy Tech state leaders announced in April the college was merging its North Central and Northwest regions, with Coley serving as chancellor for that larger, newly formed region.
The merged region includes campuses in South Bend, Elkhart County, Warsaw, Michigan City, Valparaiso, East Chicago and Gary, and serves about 28,200 students.
The layoffs are part of consolidating administrative functions within the new region.
The merger meant some administrators within the new larger region held the same titles, essentially duplicating positions. The downsizing is intended to eliminate duplications and reduce expenses.
About five jobs to be eliminated will be in the former north central region and about five will be in the former northwest region, Coley said.
The job reductions are expected to save at least $1.1 million a year in salaries and benefits, he said.
“I would hope the community has confidence that we’re doing this out of necessity. We want to be good stewards of public funds,” the chancellor said.
Further streamlining will occur in the fall when Ivy Tech student services operations will be consolidated in a “one stop” format that relies on technology and is planned to more efficiently serve students, Coley said.
“The decision to consolidate administrative functions for the two regions was the result of a resolution passed by the board after a review of the potential efficiencies of consolidating the regions,” according to a written statement issued by Ivy Tech officials in April. The board of trustees at that time also requested that the college develop a plan to reduce operating expenses.
Ivy Tech officials a week ago announced mounting budget woes and the $68 million deficit could force the college to close up to 25 percent of its sites across the state. A list of possible sites to be closed hasn’t been released.
School officials will conduct a cost-benefit analysis this summer of about 50 of its 72 locations around Indiana, the Associated Press reported. Those sites operating through lease agreements without state support could be eliminated.
The college’s deficit began growing in 2005 when 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 the state’s provider of associate degrees and handling most of Indiana’s dual credit and remediation courses.
Ivy Tech’s growth in recent years (47 percent in five years to nearly 177,000 students) has greatly outpaced its state funding, according to college officials.