Trying to meet budget demands and keep tuition costs low, Pennsylvania College of Technology has confirmed the elimination of 19 full-time positions and a decision to not fill 46 positions that have been vacant the past year.
The layoffs are effective June 30 and will save the college about $1.02 million, according to a statement released by President Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour. The statement outlined the positions being eliminated: eight administrative, professional and technical staff members, four office support staff and seven service employees.
Gilmour also said in her statement 46 positions - 11 of them faculty - that were vacant since July 1, 2011, no longer will be filled. Twenty-seven employees chose to take part in an early-retirement incentive the college offered. That action will save the college an additional $3.59 million.
The college also eliminated two, regular part-time positions and had considered eliminating five more positions - two full-time and three part-time - before those individuals decided to resign.
Gilmour said Penn College looked closely at all positions when deciding which ones would be eliminated. Different ways each positions' duties could be completed if eliminated was a major factor in the decision.
"We've spent a great deal of time looking at the functions of the positions," she said.
Gilmour explained the school will look at different ways - such as technology - of filling the void. She added that the decision will result in other employees needing to take on more duties and responsibilities.
"I think the first thing we've done in part because of our planning is reassigning duties to different people," Gilmour explained.
In order to continue offering a good education to its students, Gilmour said everyone must work "at 100 percent" as they will continue to be evaluated.
Employees who were laid off were notified during private meetings with school officials.
The decision to eliminate the positions was not an easy one, Gilmour said.
"I think it's very sad. I'm very sad," she said. "It's probably been the most difficult week of my presidency."
Gilmour said she hopes the college can become stronger from going through the hard times and said everyone at the school mirrors her sentiments.
"I think there's a mixture of sadness and disappointment that we weren't able to find another way," she said.
Gilmour cited level funding from the state, a decrease in enrollment and increased costs, such as a 20-percent increase in health care, as reasons cuts were necessary.