- The University of Wisconsin Parkside plans to cut 50 full-time equivalent jobs, amounting to roughly 10% of its workforce, to help remedy a multi-million dollar budget shortfall.
- The public institution will achieve the reductions through layoffs, attrition and voluntary departures, Scott Menke, its interim chancellor, wrote in a campus message last week. University officials will reportedly notify who they are laying off in February.
- UW-Parkside has hired Huron Consulting to help address the budget gap and identify financial inefficiencies, Menke said. The consultancy will come to campus this week to host a workshop on managing the deficit.
Several Universities of Wisconsin system campuses have struggled with budget shortfalls over the past few months, leading some to prune their staff. They include UW-Platteville and UW-Oshkosh, which are dropping 111 jobs and about 200 positions, respectively.
Last month, Menke said pandemic-induced enrollment declines and falling college attendance rates affected the university's budget.
The spiraling enrollment was coupled with high new costs and middling state support, Menke said. He specifically called out that state legislators withheld $32 million from the system to pressure the Wisconsin campuses to end diversity, equity and inclusion programming.
Menke said at the time university officials had already reduced its deficit by $4.4 million through furloughs and other austerity moves, but that it needed to trim back 2023-24 spending by $5 million more.
In a bright spot, the university said last week it saw a slight enrollment increase, reaching a student count of a little more than 4,000 for fall 2023, a 1.6% year-over-year increase. This fall’s first-year class is also the largest since 2019, the university said.
As of last year, the UW-Parkside employed 525, according to a university spokesperson.
Menke in his latest missive thanked staff members for their work with students.
“The workforce reduction process and the resultant decisions will not be easy, and I recognize your concerns and anxieties as we move through the steps ahead,” he said.