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Five faculty, four other jobs cut at WVU-Parkersburg

PARKERSBURG, W.Va. — Five faculty and four staff positions will be cut at West Virginia University at Parkersburg at the end of this fiscal year, officials said Tuesday.

WVU-P has cut employees who had low enrollment numbers in their classes, so that the cutbacks would have a minimal effect on the students, said Katie Wootton, director of marketing and communications at WVU-P.

The names of the employees or the classes they taught were not released Tuesday, Wootton said.

The nine employees were informed their positions would no longer be funded as of May 31.

These cuts come in response to the recent state appropriations reductions, which have totaled over $1.5 million, or 13.2 percent, since fiscal year 2013, said WVU-P President Fletcher Lamkin.

WVU-P has implemented cost-saving measures in other areas, including purchasing, use of outside consultants and travel expenses in addition to staff and faculty reductions, officials have said.

State funding cutbacks to WVU-P in the 2015-2016 fiscal year amounted to approximately $460,000 and those same numbers are expected again next year, Wootton said.

In an attempt to counterbalance some of the state appropriations cutbacks, WVU-P announced last week that it will seek between a 9-15 percent tuition increase in the coming year. The final tuition hike will be determined by the state cutback amount, officials said.

Although the cutbacks were necessary, the needs of the students were kept in mind as the decisions were being made, Wootton said.

“While the decisions were painful and difficult, the positions that were eliminated were carefully chosen so that the impact on students will be minimal,” said Lamkin.

It is uncertain whether further state appropriation reductions will be made, the press release said. Factors outside of the college’s control could also increase operating expenses in the coming year, although these potential factors were not identified on Tuesday, officials said.

“We feel strongly that reducing budgets for public institutions of higher education should be avoided,” said Lamkin. “But I assure you, we remain focused on being the Mid-Ohio Valley’s premier path to personal success and achievement.”

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