The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs announced Friday it will lay off 28 employees and furlough 43 others June 5 from its non-academic departments in the wake of state funding cuts and reduced enrollment.
The 12,200-student campus expects more than $40 million, or 15%, to be cut from its $275 million budget and is expecting a decline in enrollment next fall, according to an email statement from the school. The layoffs and furloughs will all come in the auxiliary operations of the campus, which include residence halls, dining facilities, transportation and event services, all of which depend on revenue they generate.
The campus already announced tuition will not increase in the new academic year.
The legislative Joint Budget Committee voted Tuesday to remove 58% of the general fund support, or nearly $500 million, for the public colleges and universities. The committee is trying to find $2 billion in savings for the 2020-21 state budget that starts July 1.
Additional partial furloughs, which will require employees to take off a certain number of days per month, may happen beginning July 1, though the number of workers, length of furlough and other details haven't been determined, the statement said. UCCS also is requiring all staff and faculty on a 12-month appointment who are paid annual salaries of $60,000 or more to take one day off a month, starting July 1. That applies to 533 employees, or nearly a third of the campus work force.
Faculty on a nine-month appointment will have a 4.6% pay cut. Staff earning less than $60,000 will not be subject to furloughs or pay cuts.
UCCS already imposed a furlough of equivalent to a little more than two days, on its 17 top officers, including Chancellor Venkat Reddy and all vice chancellors, associate vice chancellors and deans. The campus also isn't filling openings and is delaying some maintenance. Other plans include cutting utility costs, limiting ravel and cutting other operating costs.
"COVID-19 is creating financial challenges for universities around the nation and the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is no exception," the university said. "While these cost savings measures will help to balance the budget, 68% of the university's annual operating budget is dedicated to salary and benefits. The university's leadership has no choice but to implement budget reduction strategies through furloughs and layoffs."
Pikes Peak Community College officials said earlier this month they were expecting a $4.3 million budget cut, but the school hasn't announced any layoffs or furloughs. Warren Epstein, a college spokesman, said PPCC is "doing everything we can to cut costs and we are scrutinizing every open position but furloughs and layoffs would be our last option."
Both UCCS and PPCC ended in-person classes in mid-March and shifted to remote learning for the rest of the academic year. No decision has been made about whether the schools will resume in-person classes in the fall.