Shaw University is laying off 10 employees and eliminating 11 vacant positions, a spokeswoman said Monday.
The cost cutting was announced by Shaw late Friday but no details were available on the extent of the reductions. On Monday, university spokeswoman Odessa Hines said a total of 21 jobs would be lost. The university is also renegotiating contracts with vendors to save money, Hines said.
Last week, Gaddis Faulcon, Shaw’s interim president, said the measures could save the university $2 million during the next year. “We want to not just survive, but thrive and we can only do so by continuously examining our internal processes to determine how we can be more effective,” Faulcon said in a statement.
The reductions follow steady enrollment declines in recent years – a trend that has played out at historically black universities across North Carolina.
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From 2010-11 to this year, the student population at Shaw has dropped 36 percent. Shaw has 1,729 full-time students this fall, according to preliminary numbers, compared to 2,722 in the fall of 2010.
Shaw’s cuts come at a time when supporters have worried over the university’s future leadership.
This summer, 50 alumni signed a letter that was highly critical of the search for a permanent replacement for Dorothy Yancy, who retired as president on Dec. 31.
Alumni complained that a search consultant helping the university had no experience in higher education and had filed for bankruptcy. They also cited an article in HBCU Digest that said the Shaw board almost hired the head of an online university in California – Andrew Honeycutt of Anaheim University. He had not been named as a finalist by the Shaw search committee.
Problems with the search led the board in August to extend the contract of Faulcon for a year. His title was changed from acting president to interim president.
Shaw’s latest federal tax form indicated a shortfall, with $1 million more in expenses than revenue.