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Western Oregon University announces layoffs

In a message addressed to the campus community Thursday, Western Oregon University announced that 46 employees are either being laid off or having their hours cut.

“Even though we knew these difficult financial decisions were on the horizon, the very real human impact on our colleagues remains significant,” WOU President Rex Fuller wrote in an email.

Fuller cited the university’s budget deficit, increased by falling enrollment, as the reason for the cuts.

In his State of the University address last month, Fuller noted an estimated more than $4 million “structural deficit” for the school’s 2021 fiscal year. As of late last month, the university’s enrollment was tracking below last fall’s level by 7%.

The university says the cuts were made across all divisions of the university, eliminating about 10% of each divisions' staff salary budget.

The cuts create a potential of about $2 million dollars in salary savings over a complete budget cycle, Fuller said in his message.

According to Fuller, the university expects to announce additional cuts in faculty personnel between now and December.

Copyright 2020 Oregon Public Broadcasting