West Virginia University (WVU), facing significant budget cuts, will make very difficult decisions that will likely lead to layoffs of full-time faculty positions.
According to Higher Ed Dive, the public university faces a $45 million budget deficit.
The university said it identified 590 faculty positions that will face further evaluation (i.e. layoffs) and it will merge the College of Creative Arts with the Reed College of Media.
WVU Provost Maryanne Reed said, “We have no choice.”
The university is reviewing departments and programs such as English, philosophy, world languages, chemistry, law, and communications. Overall, WVU offers 335 majors and, as of 2022, employed over 3,100 faculty members (whether it be part-time or full-time faculty).
The next steps in the review process is an official board vote on cuts in mid-September, followed by non-renewal notices to faculty members in October.
Budget cuts in higher education are underway in several places because of dwindling student enrollment and the expiration of federal pandemic funds. These changes are reflecting the marketplace, where students are questioning the value of going into debt with student loans for a college degree and have not enrolled in colleges after the pandemic.