QU announces budget reform to combat $1.2M loss
Quincy University announced March 31 that it will undergo a major academic and administrative restructuring to help make up for the $1.2 million in promised Monetary Award Program (MAP) grants that were not received from the state of Illinois.
Among these new changes $356,000 in personnel cuts include the release of seven full-time positions, adjustment to contract lengths and a reduction in part-time positions. Five of the full-time faculty positions released are already vacant, and two will conclude in May. No full-time faculty positions were affected, but 20 low-enrolled course sections will be eliminated in the 2016-2017 academic year.
“Most of the cuts we have made have very minimal contact with students. The majority have been in the Communications area, which is an important function, communicating with the outside world as well as internally, but we also are blessed to have very talented colleagues in the Advancement Office who have assumed those responsibilities, and we already have very strong relationships with our student media and with the local media,” QU President Robert Gervasi said.
In addition, Academic Affairs will be compromised of three schools: the School of Interdisciplinary and Liberal Studies, the School of Education and the Sciences; and the School of Business, Communication, and Information Technology. This new structure will allow for similar degree programs to be efficiently managed and help make connections between different fields of study.
“The new model builds upon the significant strengths of the individual disciplines within each school. It will allow for increased collaboration in interdisciplinary courses and majors, provide oversight of general education requirements, and make more streamlined course offerings possible,” Vice President for Academic Affairs Ann Behrens said in a press release.
Also, the Office of Student Engagement will merge with the Office of Enrollment Management and Academic Support to provide increased coordination of students’ experiences outside the classroom. This change does not impact the athletics department, which will continue to work closely with both areas.
“Student engagement and success is about not only bringing students to Quincy, but ensuring they have a positive experience and graduate on time. Bringing these two areas together ensures that will happen,” Gervasi said.
The new plan also calls for a $1 million reduction in operational expenses, excluding academic support and instruction. An additional $71,000 was cut in academic related expenses.
Approximately $261,000 in new revenue generation is projected through a number of new initiatives including online general education coursework during the summer semesters and increased dual credit offerings in partnership with local high schools.
“We are hoping that these changes will send the message loud and strong that the university is committed to being good fiscal stewards of the limited resources we have,” Gervasi said.