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37 employees, 5 Programs Get Axed at University of Wyoming

LARAMIE, Wyo. — The University of Wyoming will lay off 37 employees next week as the state’s only public, four-year university cuts costs to account for reduced state aid.

The jobs to be cut are all non-faculty staff positions. They come after the university has already cut 332 jobs almost entirely by eliminating vacant positions and offering voluntary separation incentives to tenured faculty.

UW President Laurie Nichols spoke about the layoffs Thursday during a presentation about the budget reduction plan to the Board of Trustees, the Laramie Boomerang reported.

“This is the very first time really we have done this in this budget reduction exercise,” Nichols said. “This is the hard part of the budget cut because now we’re talking real people that are sitting in positions, and we will be eliminating their position and thus reducing them.”

The cuts were made to affect students as minimally as possible, Nichols said.

“I’m not going to tell you there’s absolutely no impact because I don’t think I’d be accurate on that,” she said. “But are there going to be dramatic impacts where students aren’t going to be able to get courses or things of that nature? I don’t think so.”

Separately, the trustees approved eliminating five academic degree programs to save money. Eliminated were the bachelor’s degree program in secondary education for industrial technical education, the bachelor’s degree program in Russian, the master’s degree program in French, the master’s degree program in German and the master’s degree program in neuroscience.

“The decision was made to review programs that were in low demand from the point of view of students, as measured by the number of graduates over the last five years,” Vice President of Academic Affairs Kate Miller said.

The jobs cuts and program changes are being made to make up for the loss of $41 million in state aid brought on by the downturn in the energy industry, which is Wyoming’s main source of tax revenue.

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