Tech lays off seven employees due to budget constraints

Tech officials laid off seven employees last month due to budget adjustments, spokesperson Dewayne Wright said.

Provost Lori Bruce said the adjustments allow the annual budget to be cut without affecting the academic colleges and schools.

President Phil Oldham said the decision to make cuts wasn’t easy.

“Budget decisions that affect employees are always difficult, particularly when any change takes place not due to personal performance but because of the changing higher education environment,” Oldham said in a prepared statement.

Tech faced a $2 million shortfall in a budget affected by the declining enrollment of foreign students. Wright said 76 percent of the identified funds to cover the deficit came from non-personnel areas or by eliminating vacant positions.

The terminated employees received one month’s salary as severance pay and educational benefits through the summer, Wright said.

Wright declined a request to identify the positions that were eliminated, cited personnel privacy rules.

In an internal campus memo, Dr. Bruce explained the reorganization of the digital and distance learning unit she oversees. The unit involves online classes and classes offered on satellite campuses.

Bruce said the digital studies unit now will report to the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, while the distance studies unit will report to the college of Interdisciplinary Studies.