With increasing budget pressure from the state of Georgia, Columbus State University eliminated 16.5 jobs this week, laying off 12 employees and cutting 4.5 vacant positions.
The cuts, effective immediately, were made Wednesday, said CSU spokesman John Lester.
The university employs about 800 faculty and staff.
“All positions were staff,” Lester said. “We purposefully worked to protect the main core mission of what we do. No faculty positions were lost.”
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The state of Georgia is facing a budget shortfall expected to exceed $2.5 billion. Like all state agencies, public colleges and universities are feeling the pain.
The University System of Georgia, which governs the state’s colleges and universities, mandated cuts systemwide of 10.5 percent for the current fiscal year that ends June 30.
The university system is facing an 11.5 percent cut in its budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year that starts July 1.
“We’re expecting this to be it,” Lester said. “We did as much as we needed to do in hopes that it will carry us forward.”
The cuts, along with other cost reductions such as deferred maintenance, are expected to save the university about $500,000, Lester said.
“Unfortunately, we are at the point where we had no alternative but to eliminate staff positions,” he said. “What is most uncomfortable for everybody is we had to eliminate 12 positions that were currently staffed.”
CSU has an annual budget of about $80 million, about $40 million of that comes from the state. The cuts are coming from the state allotment.
The cuts started in the fall when CSU was told to reduce its budget by 6 percent. The number has steadily grown as tax revenues have fallen sharply.