Monday, January 5, 2015

UWS custodians, groundskeepers receive layoff notices - Maria Lockwood, Duluth News Tribune

The move to outsource custodial and groundskeeping services is one of many cost-saving measures UWS is implementing to cover a budget hole caused by what administrators described as a “perfect storm” of declining enrollment, a tuition freeze and statewide funding cuts. The university must reduce expenses or raise revenue by $2 million within the next two years to prevent it from running in the red; another $2.5 million must be realized within five years. It was initially estimated that the custodial outsourcing would save the university $500,000 per year. Earlier this month, that figure was lowered to $350,000 annually. The university also has suspended one graduate major, 10 graduate program concentrations, two bachelor’s program concentrations and five minors. No new students will be accepted in those programs, but current students will be given time to complete them. Operation of the campus bookstore also was outsourced, and services have been centralized. In all, $1.8 million has been saved to date.

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