BY WATCHING ADAMS STAFF – 4/6/18
As the spring semester winds down, many Adams State University (ASU) employees find themselves without a job or with reduced pay in order to offset a $2.7 million financial shortfall and about a 12% decline in enrollment since 2015. These and related cuts to the university have been taken as part of the 2018 Financial Action Plan.
REDUCED STAFFING ACROSS CAMPUS
In a campus announcement posted on April 6th, 2018, ASU detailed the ongoing execution of its Financial Action Plan. This has been overseen by the Board of Trustees and Interim President Dr. Matt Nehring. According to the plan:
Adams State’s Financial Action Plan includes a $2.2 million trim in personnel costs and $500,000 in non-personnel costs. In total 45 employees, or 11 percent of the university’s fulltime benefits-eligible workforce, are impacted through the recommended list of expense reductions.
The list includes eliminating 27 positions across the university. Of those positions, 18 were voluntary reductions due to retirements of faculty and staff, or positions that were already vacant and won’t be filled. Another nine positions were cut involuntarily, meaning employees lost those jobs as a result of the university’s need to reduce its total workforce. Other employees of Adams State agreed to take a pay cut or were moved to 10-month employment contracts rather than 12-month.
CUTTING PROGRAMS AND ATHLETICS ROSTERS
In addition to reductions in staffing, the plan also outlines a phasing out of some degree programs in physics and information technology:
Adams State eventually will phase out degree areas of emphasis in physics and information technology due to low enrollment in those two areas. The degrees specifically impacted are math and chemistry majors who have an emphasis in physics, and mathematical science majors who have an emphasis in information technology. Even so, students currently enrolled in those areas of emphasis will continue to earn their degrees. Adams State simply will not enroll new students in those areas of emphasis.
The Financial Action Plan also outlines reductions in the number of student athletes in ASU Athletics:
In another revenue-generating move, Adams State Athletics is returning its roster-size of student athletes on the football and wrestling teams to previously agreed-upon levels, which will serve to generate additional revenue for the university in the form of tuition and fees. ASU will add 20 non-scholarship athletes to the football team and 12 non-scholarship athletes to the wrestling team for an anticipated revenue gain.
The announcement also states that “Adams State’s next goal will be to grow undergraduate enrollment” but offers no details about how the university will do so.
There has been no acting director of admissions since August 2017 and the job search to rehire this position failed to select a candidate.
Preliminary estimates have forecast another drop in student enrollment for fall 2018.