Delgado is cutting faculty, programs ‘to be more efficient’

5 months ago The Times-Picayune 0

As Delgado Community College students take their final exams, their administrators are cutting staff to comply with a state mandate to streamline, spokesman Tony Cook confirmed Wednesday (May 3).

“We’re reviewing our programs and scaling back or eliminating those that have low enrollment and high costs,” Cook said. “The goal is to be more efficient and to better serve all of our students.”

The cuts are “a response to the Board’s direction to conduct a thorough review of all operations and develop a path forward focusing on our mission and financial security,” Cook said.

Affected faculty will be notified this week. Cook could not immediately provide a number of positions to be cut. He said he could not specify which programs would be closed until the Louisiana Board of Regents approves the college’s plan. 

Staff recommended cutting the dietetics technician degree in an April report to the Board of Regents. The college newspaper reported that TV production and mass communications were being canceled, and named three laid-off faculty members, including the radio station advisor.

The same Regents report suggested continuing the programs in health information technology, medical lab technician and American Sign Language interpretation.

The college has about 1,100 academic employees, Cook said. Louisiana civil service layoff notification rules will not apply, because “none of the faculty positions affected by the program review at Delgado is a state civil service position,” he said.

The state’s public higher education institutions are in a squeeze. The Legislature has repeatedly cut higher education funding over the last decade. The Louisiana House has proposed a budget that would refrain from further reductions.

In addition, Delgado’s enrollment decreased by 6 percent from fall 2015 to fall 2016, according to the college’s website. The largest numbers of students majored in nursing, general studies and business/management.

Louisiana Community and Technical College System President Monty Sullivan issued the letter recommending re-evaluation March 8. He also announced the reorganization of several campuses, but not Delgado. 

There was no sign of job cuts in the LCTCS board’s April agenda. At that time, Delgado signaled its intent to make its criminal justice associate’s degree program online-only and to add about 25 technical competency areas and certificates to its offerings.

The LCTCS board meets May 10 and the Board of Regents May 22, according to their websites. No agendas have been released yet.