Black Hawk College forced to eliminate jobs amid Illinois budget crisis
MOLINE — A combination of declining enrollment and steep state budget cuts for higher education are forcing Black Hawk College to eliminate 17 full-time positions, according to a release sent out by BHC on Thursday, Jan. 26.
Of those positions, eight are faculty and nine are staff/administration, said John Meineke, marketing and public relations director for Black Hawk College.
Black Hawk’s enrollment problem is part of a nationwide trend, according to the release, which noted that enrollment at two-year public colleges across the country declined by about 153,000 students – or 2.6 percent – between 2015 and 2016. Black Hawk’s enrollment fell by 8 percent between spring 2016 and spring 2017.
“Eliminating positions is very personal because we are saying goodbye to dedicated and valued people,” Dr. Bettie Truitt, president of the college said. “But to ensure the financial health of the institution and continue to provide high-quality education to our students, we must be forward-looking in our planning and budgeting.”
Steve Frommelt, vice president for finance and administration, said, “The College has received only 35% of anticipated funding from the state over the last two years. In addition, the lack of direction from lawmakers creates uncertainty and makes planning difficult.”
Truitt said the College did not consider across-the-board cuts but instead looked at every area for opportunities to gain efficiencies and reduce costs in order to refocus the institution for future growth.
“The College has faced headwinds before. But for more than 70 years we have served our students and communities well. With continued hard work and dedication from our faculty and staff, we are very optimistic about our future,” Truitt said.