Seven more staff members are laid off at Baker
Another seven employees have been laid off at Baker University, bringing the total to 30 this year as a result of a $1 million budget shortfall. The additional layoffs included three from the Baldwin City campus.
“I can confirm there were seven more layoffs earlier this month,” said Steve Rottinghaus, Baker spokesman.
Seven non-faculty members were notified the first week of June and early the following week, said Rottinghaus. The hours and responsibilities for other positions have been reduced as well and that occurred later in the second week of June, he said. He added that he couldn’t provide further details on how many employees have had hours reduced other than “some.”
In February, Baker President Pat Long announced the layoffs of 23 people. At the time, Long said she hoped that would be the last of the mass layoffs. The additional layoffs resulted from the university’s ongoing restructuring at its four campuses.
“Although we deeply regret seeing any employee leave Baker, we know building for our future requires proactive steps in controlling costs, eliminating duplication and maximizing efficiency,” said Long.
Rottinghaus said those efforts are complete.
“At this time, there are no more layoffs planned,” he said.
Baker now has around 430 employees. A firm number of employees nor percentage of reduction was available because in addition to the layoffs, other open positions have not being filled, he said. But, roughly, he said the reductions are around 1.6 percent.
Unlike in February when the first layoffs were made, there was not a news conference to announce the reductions. However, Baker employees did receive notification.
“We continue to be open and transparent in our communications to the university community, including the board of trustees, alumni, students, faculty and staff,” said Rottinghaus. “The campus was sent an internal e-mail about the recent staff reductions soon after the affected employees were notified.
“We plan to schedule a university-wide forum when the students return in late August to provide an update on Baker University’s current budget picture,” he said.
The $1 million budget shortfall was the result of numerous factors, including the layoffs in November of thousands of Sprint employees, many of whom were enrolled at the Overland Park campus. Baker also has campuses in Topeka and Wichita.
Long said the university continues to strive to serve its students.
“As always, our primary concern is providing the highest quality education and service for our students,” said Long. “Supervisors in impacted areas are working to ensure the continuation of quality service.”
Of the original 23 layoffs in February, eight were from the Baldwin City campus. The additional three in June bring the total to 11 local layoffs.