Wilfrid Laurier University cuts 22 positions amid financial difficulties
Published Tuesday, March 10, 2015 12:07PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, March 10, 2015 6:36PM EDT
Wilfrid Laurier University announced Monday that it plans to eliminate 22 positions and reduce work hours for five others.
School officials said the cuts come amid serious financial issues.
“Our expenses have been rising faster than our revenues,” school president Max Blouw told CTV News.
“We have no choice but to make very painful adjustments.”
The school is projecting a $25-million deficit for the 2015-16 school year, spurred on in part by enrolment challenges and less funding from the provincial government.
Last month, school officials said they were planning a $10-million budget cut for the year, which could potentially impact educational programs.
Monday’s cuts represent about two per cent of the school’s total support staff and management employees, according to a news release from the school.
Sociology professor Peter Eglin said his department’s administrative assistant was one of the workers laid off.
“She’s dealing with students all the time on a face-to-face, person-to-person basis,” he said.
“Without that interaction, this place grinds to a halt.”
Other affected employees worked at the school’s printing press and writing centre.
School officials say they’ve already made other moves to improve Laurier’s financial position, including encouraging staff to work fewer hours, reducing non-salary expenses and not renewing some contract positions.
Faculty positions may also be reduced, although Blouw said the goal would be to do so through attrition rather than layoffs.