Richland Community College cuts high-ranking positions

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DECATUR — Richland Community College will eliminate five positions as part of a restructuring caused by severe loss of state funding.

“The restructuring is not a reflection of any employee’s performance, rather, the need to restructure in light of the College’s limited financial resources,” said Richland President Cris Valdez in a prepared statement released Friday evening.

The cuts include three administrative officers, including chief of staff, vice president of economic development and innovative workforce solutions and director of human resources. Two positions will also be eliminated in the Duplication Center, which will close this spring.

The cuts will be effective Feb. 28.

“Colleges and Universities across the state have engaged in cost-cutting measures that have resulted in personnel cuts and program cuts,” Valdez said in the statement. “Richland Community College has avoided personnel changes up to this point.”

The statement did not make clear whether those holding the administrative positions would be moved to other positions within the college. Current Chief of Staff Lisa Gregory declined to comment, while Vice President of Economic Development Douglas Brauer referred questions to Valdez.

Richland Board President Bruce Campbell also referred questions to Valdez.

Valdez could not be reached for further comment.

Richland has seen a nearly 13 percent drop in enrollment over the past six years, as well as a 12 percent decrease in state funds over that same time period.

The board of trustees recently passed a budget that did not include any money from the state, relying solely on the tax levy and enrollment to fund the college.

News of the cuts were proof once again for state Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, that the state must do more to support education at all levels.

“One of the big losers right now in the budget situation is our schools,” Mitchell said. “The state isn’t living up to what it should be doing. Asinine is the only word I can use to describe it.”

He said he was hopeful that lawmakers could come together in the new session to pass a budget for the first time in nearly two years and provide some funding and stability for Richland and other schools.

rvoyles@herald-review.com|(217)421-7985

tchurchill@herald-review.com|(217)421-7978

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Richland Community College cuts high-ranking positions

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