Layoffs of 46 employees

In preparation of next year’s state budget, Fresno State’s president said the university will lay off 46 state, staff and management employees beginning July 1.

President John Welty said the tentative plan would not include state employee furloughs, as he addressed the crowd in the Satellite Student Union.

“I know that this is a dark day for our university community,” Welty said.

Fifty-five permanent and five temporary employees will receive layoff notices. It is anticipated, Welty said, that 14 of these employees will be given the opportunity to retreat to another position, and a small number could take time reduction rather than be laid off.

Welty said the university needed to take action now, although the state legislature had not acted on a 2010-11 budget.

“If we don’t act now and our predictions hold true, we would be required to lay-off a much larger number of employees at a later date,” Welty said. “I believe that is an irresponsible gamble to take.”

Welty said the mandatory 9.5 percent enrollment reduction handed down earlier this year from the California State University’s (CSU) board of trustees and the state’s budget reductions made the layoffs necessary. The enrollment reduction will result in an expenditure decrease of $8.5 million, on top of the $44 million shortfall of this year.

In addition, the Athletic Corporation will eliminate six positions. Welty said further athletics reductions and furloughs may be a necessity.

“These will be finalized in the coming weeks, as the [Athletic] Corporation prepares its final budget,” Welty said.

Further layoffs could be necessary, including layoffs of part-time faculty, as the budget picture becomes more certain, Welty said.

In an e-mail interview, William Covino, the provost and vice president of academic affairs, said the budget situation for next year is still uncertain.

“The need for faculty layoffs, if any, will not be determined until we have greater clarity this summer,” Covino said.

After the fall semester begins, Covino said, the university will be able to assess how many fewer lecturers are working, as compared to fall 2009. Lecturers are not considered tenure-track employees, so if they are not rehired, they are not considered layoffs.

Covino said the board of trustees would determine any future fee increases.

Over the past two years, the university has dealt with the $44 million shortfall with a position freeze, curtailment of spending and deferment of maintenance across campus. Since 2008, the faculty headcount has been cut by 111 full-time equivalent positions.

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