STL Community College to Cut Faculty

indexBy Free Radical

In an acrimonious decision, the St. Louis Community College’s board of trustees voted to eliminate up to 70 instructor and 25 staff positions.

The agreement was made amid a public outcry by professors and students who chanted “Justice for Our Faculty!” Tensions rose to the point that board members left the meeting room for nearly an hour before returning to vote in a closed huddle. Only the college’s spokeswoman, Nez Savala would confirm that the budget cut was approved.

The St. Louis Community College has struggled over the past years amid the dual forces of reduced state expenditures and declining enrollment. According to stlpublicradio.org, the system has received $5 million less in state revenue this year and saw its enrollment decline by a third since 2011.

The College had already offered an early retirement option for its employees in April which 117 individuals took advantage of. Yet it’s budget is still in the red. The college has claimed that it would have operated $13 million over budget by 2020 if not for the current cuts.

Yet opponents do not see the administration’s concern with penny pinching as new buildings are erected and high level staff persons are paid unnecessarily high salaries in their estimation.

Protestors also fear that fewer faculty will affect students by increasing class sizes. There is also a fear that the changes will impact Black students in particular  who make up a third of all students in the system.

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