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UPDATE: Delta Community College to Layoff 28 Workers

Budget constraints are leading to layoffs at Delta Community College.

UPDATE 9:30 p.m. -- It started with staff reductions at ULM in October 2013.
 
Now, because of drastic cuts in state funding to higher education, Louisiana Delta Community College said it faces the same scenario.

"Try to recoup that loss through tuition and we have been unable to garner that much tuition," LDCC Chancellor, Barbara Hanson, said.

Now 28 layoffs are coming to the college, 15 people's jobs terminated and 13 others through attrition, their positions not to be refilled.
 
Positions being cut include four faculty members, three staff members and others across the board.
 
Though Hanson has led the college for just more than a year, she said employee payment struggles go back farther.

"No one at this institution has had a raise in six years," Hanson said. "It's still a little disheartening when you have people who have worked so hard who cannot avail themselves with oppotunities to get a little bit of tangible acknowledgement of their efforts."

Hanson said the loss of state funding made too deep a hole to fill.

"$7 million over five years is significant. It's almost half of our appropriated budget, 47.5%," she said.

Hanson said the only good part of these layoffs is they prevent the college suffering as a whole.

"We're very pleased that we have been able to retain all of our programs," she said. "We've done some consolidation of programs, but we haven't closed any."

Hanson said all employees have been informed of their layoffs. The faculty members will stay until the conclusion of the semester and the staff employees' layoffs will be staggered over the next three to four months.

All of the other layoffs will take effect depending upon their department.

Even though Governor Bobby Jindal declared a $163 million state budget surplus in 2013 and Hanson is hopeful some of that money will be returned to higher education, she said it came too late to solve their current budget deficit.

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Monroe -- Budget constraints are leading to layoffs at Delta Community College.

Delta submitted its Reduction in Force plan to the Board of Supervisors for the Louisiana Community and Technical College System for final approval.

The plan is an attempt to address a budget constraint of $3.3 million for the FY13 operating budget and anticipated shortfall of $2.3 million for FY14 operating budget.

Budget constraints are due, in large part, to the reductions in state appropriations beginning FY10 and continuing through FY14 for a total reduction of 47.5% over that same time period.

LDCC’s state spending authority for the current fiscal year, FY14, is $17,827,834.00.

Of that $8,320,402.00 about 47% of the total is received from the State.

LDCC is required to generate the balance or 53% of the budget from other sources increasing the amount that must come from tuition and fees.

The increases in enrollment necessary to generate 53% of the budget were not realized last year nor are they anticipated to be realized this year.

Other factors contributing to the budget deficit include, but are not limited to, an increase in operational costs primarily caused by higher employer retirement contribution rates, increased mandated costs, and rising employee and dependent group benefits participation.

Many of the proposed adjustments and improvements have already been addressed by not filling positions vacated through resignation or retirement.

Once all pending adjustments and improvements are completed, LDCC will have realized a reduction in force of twenty-eight (28) employees, resulting in an estimated on going savings in expenditures of approximately $1.6 million.

The remaining $700,000.00 needed to achieve the $2.3 million reduction targeted is expected to be addressed on the revenue side.

Dr. Hanson stated, “We are continuing to explore all of our options. Our current financial challenges are indeed concerning and even alarming; however, we are sure that out of the midst of these fiscal challenges Louisiana Delta Community College will emerge as an even stronger and more vital institution.”

The rest of the layoff dates will vary depending on the department.

KTVE/KARD's Nick Lawton sat down with Chancellor Hanson to talk about the cuts. He'll have a report coming up on KTVE 10 News at 5, 6, and 10 and on KARD FOX 14 News at 9.


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