University announces 120 positions eliminated

President Timothy Caboni listens to fellow speakers at the Board of Regents meeting on Feb. 23 in Jody Richards Hall. Caboni announced plans for dealing with the budget and its shortfalls going forward. “This is the worst decision anyone in a leadership position has to make,” Caboni said at the end of the meeting.

Monica Kast

Over 100 positions, both filled and vacant, have been eliminated from university faculty and staff, WKU announced today. 

In an email sent to all faculty and staff, President Timothy Caboni announced that 119 full-time positions had been eliminated. Additionally, one part-time position has been eliminated from the university. 

The Herald requested information about position eliminations, including position title, the department the position was in and how long each faculty or staff member was employed by the university on Wednesday, March 7. The information was released shortly after 3:30 on Monday, March 19.

Among the full-time positions eliminated are the Chief Enrollment Officer, Director of the Office of Sponsored Programs and the Regional Chancellors for WKU’s Elizabethtown/Fort Knox and Owensboro campuses, as well as the Regional Vice Chancellor for the Glasgow campus. 

Sixty-two of the full-time positions eliminated were filled at the time of elimination, while 57 were vacant at the time of the elimination. 

The part-time position eliminated was the NCAA Academic Compliance Coordinator. The position was filled at the time of elimination. 

“These strategic reductions reflect that WKU is a smaller institution than we were five to ten years ago,” Caboni said in the email. “While difficult, these decisions were necessary to move us toward a more stable institutional budget that matches the revenues we generate each year. Unfortunately, our work in this area will continue once the Kentucky General Assembly completes their work.  Decisions regarding our state appropriation and pension obligations will have further budgetary implications for us. The steps we take now will allow us to restructure operations to meet our immediate needs and are designed to ensure future budgets are more stable, predictable and support our core missions.”

Faculty and staff were notified by human resources last week if their position was eliminated. 

“In the face of adversity we must continue to reimagine and redefine our institution as we move forward together,” Caboni said. “As part of our strategic planning process, we will think creatively about our organizational arrangements and investments; we will support efforts to recruit, retain and graduate students; we will define how an applied research university creates knowledge that elevates our region; we will demonstrate how the WKU experience differentiates us in the marketplace; and we will position ourselves for the next decade of successes.”

Print managing editor Monica Kast can be reached at 270-745-6011 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @monica_kast.