UMUC president's letter about staff layoffs

March 28, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing today to update you on the stateside measures the university is taking to address the financial pressures caused by continued enrollment declines.

In addition to cutting departmental operating budgets, some personnel actions are necessary. Approximately 70 staff layoffs and contract non-renewals have taken place or will take place. In some departments, new positions are being posted, and employees impacted by the layoffs are encouraged to apply. As a result, it is likely that a smaller number of staff overall will be impacted by these personnel actions.

Also, we have had to reassess the entire plan to transition 9-month collegiate (NOL) faculty to 12-month collegiate faculty. Unfortunately, enrollments within many of the disciplines do not support all of the positions originally anticipated, including several of the positions that were transitioned last year.  

This is a painful period for our entire community, especially for those whose jobs have been affected. I deeply regret the personal and professional impact on each of these individuals.

As indicated in our recent town hall meetings and my message to the community of March 13, enrollments are down as a result of the mature adult online education market, increased competition, the downsizing of the military, and the impact of the federal budget sequester. Trend lines are not good.

UMUC is a tuition-driven institution, and when enrollments decline, so do revenues. In this case, revenues are down $25 million.

We remain committed to achieving a sustainable growth path. Even with these cuts, we continue to invest in student-centric priorities such as the UMUC Completion Scholarship program (which reduces the cost of a four-year degree to $20,000 for Maryland community college graduates), competency-based education, and open educational resources.

Further, we are working to improve student recruitment, success, and retention; outreach to veterans; and our market share within Maryland. In the longer term, we will fortify our value proposition, linking employment and career advancement with accessibility, affordability, and quality.

Our focus on student success will continue to guide us though this rough period, and I am confident we will emerge stronger and more efficient.

Sincerely,

Javier Miyares

President

University of Maryland University College

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