photo credit: Sharkshock // Shutterstock
ECU says it will have an immediate hiring freeze, due to an expected budget decrease of $16 million for fiscal year 2020-2021.
ECU’s Interim Chancelor, Dan Gerlach, says none of the expected shortfall is because of any direct state policy change, but is caused by a decrease in undergraduate, graduate and transfer student enrollment in Fall 2018. That led to a decrease in overall revenue for ECU, which gets most of its revenue from student credit hours and enrollment fees.
ECU officials expect the Fall 2019 freshman class to be larger than last year’s, but, Gerlach says, recent efforts to help students complete their degrees on time has led to record numbers of graduates, without enough incoming freshman to replace them all.
To facilitate the $16 million decrease in ECU’s budget, Gerlach says he has asked each department to reduce their individual budgets for the 2020-2021 fiscal year, and has also ordered immediate hiring freezes for nearly all positions.
In part of a statement released Tuesday, Gerlach said,
“No new positions (other than those necessary to meet grant requirements) will be authorized without the approval of the Executive Council. Vacant positions (for all funding sources) are frozen, with exceptions subject to the recommendation of the Executive Council. Exceptions will be focused on life/safety of students and employees; regulatory and legal requirements; and enrollment growth. No shifting of positions to support from existing fees with exceptions subject to the approval of the Executive Council. Substantial capital projects not related to health & safety or enrollment growth may be postponed. The targets for budget reductions by Division have been provided to the appropriate Vice Chancellors, who will be discussing with their respective divisions.”
ECU says its Dental School and the Brody School of Medicine will not be impacted by the expected $16 million in budget cuts.