Moraine Park Technical College Downsizing to Address Projected Budget Shortfall

by speitz5. May 2011 02:18

Aim Was to Minimize Effect on Student Services and Programs

FOND DU LAC, Wis. (May 4, 2011) – Moraine Park Technical College, with campuses in Fond du Lac, West Bend and Beaver Dam, has announced a downsizing of staff and services to meet a projected $3.1 million shortfall in its 2011-2012 budget. The proposed budget will go into effect July 1.

The budget shortfall is due to the proposed provisions of the State Biennial Budget and Budget Repair Bills, which include a freeze on the operational tax levy coupled with an anticipated 30 percent cut in state aid to the technical college system. The downsizing recommendations, presented by College leadership to the Moraine Park District Board, came after review of the College’s strategic plan, analysis of multiple budget scenarios, and with input from staff. The key consideration throughout the budget-balancing process was to limit the impact on student programming and services, while simultaneously addressing the strategic growth needs of the College.

Reductions cut across many departments at the College. Staff downsizing accounted for an $800,000 reduction in personnel budget dollars with a net downsizing of 20 positions. Staff downsizing was addressed through layoffs, retirements, consolidation of duties and not filling certain vacancies. Additional non-personnel cuts led to a $2.3 million reduction in operational dollars and include the suspension of two credit and two apprenticeship programs: Engine Research and Development Technician and Veterinary Technician programs, and Steamfitter and Plumbing apprenticeships. Program suspensions were based on one or more of the following considerations: student demand, enrollment, retention, number of graduates and available employment opportunities.

All affected employees were personally notified, followed by a general announcement to all College staff and students. The College is providing assistance to affected employees.

“Balancing our budget was an extremely difficult process. These decisions will have a profound effect on the lives of loyal and dedicated employees who have provided high quality service to Moraine Park, making it extremely difficult to put these changes into motion,” said Moraine Park Technical College President Dr. Gayle Hytrek. “While the state budget is yet to be sorted out, we simply had to move forward in an effort to be operationally sound with the start of the new fiscal year quickly approaching.”

Dr. Hytrek retires June 30, with Dr. Sheila Ruhland recently announced as her successor. Dr. Ruhland currently serves as Vice President of Instruction at Rockingham Community College in Wentworth, N.C.

The college will continue to move forward with the preliminary budget that was presented to the District Board on April 20 and will next hold a public hearing at the May 18 District Board meeting. Final budget approval by the District board is slated to take place in June.

Moraine Park Technical College employs 450 faculty and administrative staff across its three campuses and offers associate of applied science degrees, technical diplomas, apprenticeships, certificates, continuing education units and articulated credit for high school students throughout the district. It also offers training and technical assistance to businesses and personal enrichment courses to community members. It was established in 1912 and is one of 16 technical college districts that make up the Wisconsin Technical College System. For more information, log on to www.morainepark.edu.

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