Loss Of IU Continuing Studies Department Could Mean Layoffs

IU officials say employees of the University’s School of Continuing Studies will keep their jobs for another year, but layoffs may loom after that.

Eliminating the continuing studies department could save IU as much as four million dollars a year.  Chief Financial Officer Neil Theobald said those savings, coupled with the fact that much of the school’s funding comes from shrinking state appropriations, put it on the chopping block.

“We face a $10.4 million cut in our state appropriation for the next year and we do not want to cover all of that through tuition,” Theobald said. “So we’re going to have to cut costs.  The School of Continuing Studies is one of the more highly subsidized schools across the campus.  Decision was made that we needed to save money by discontinuing the school.”

Students and staff will be transferred to other departments, where possible, but Theobald said severance packages will be offered to any employees whose positions cannot be salvaged. Theobald says the number of cuts continues to grow, meaning continuing studies might not be the only department to feel the pinch if IU has to find more efficiencies.

“This is an $800 million budget, so clearly there are other things that would be possible to do.  But we hope not to.”

Theobald says continuing studies almost met the axe two years ago, when IU had to cut $15 million from its budget, but was left intact in favor of other budget-cutting moves.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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