“While these are difficult decisions, they are necessary to further position us for success in the post-pandemic era,” President Jim Tressel said.
The university noted that the layoffs represent less than 3 percent of the university’s fulltime faculty. In addition, of the nine layoffs, two have been offered reassignment and one has chosen to retire.
The discontinued academic programs will be drawn down in such a way that all students will be able to complete their courses of study, said Brien Smith, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. Eleven of the programs had previously been identified for “teach out” and have already begun phasing out. Smith also emphasized that all of YSU’s more than 130 other academic programs remain.
“Changes such as these can be unsettling,” Smith said. “I want to assure students that YSU’s future – and your important role in it - remains strong. You have shown much perseverance over the course of the past nearly two years. We remain committed to your success and the success of the entire YSU community.”
He added: “As enrollment has declined, we must adjust our program offerings and our faculty resources to ensure that our academic portfolio of programs and courses attracts enrollment, helps students and allows the university to survive and thrive.”
Smith said that cost-cutting, while not a strategy for a sustainable future, is necessary to free up resources to invest in growth opportunities.
The actions, he said, are part of a larger university strategy that includes optimizing student success, enhancing the quality of teaching and learning, hiring faculty in critical strategic areas and helping reduce student costs through expanded scholarships.
“We will continue working with faculty, staff and everyone in the campus community through a measured and deliberate approach toward incremental, tangible change,” he said.