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May 22. 2013 9:41PM

Colby-Sawyer lays off 16 staff workers to balance budget

NEW LONDON — Colby-Sawyer College has laid off 16 staff members, saying it had to do so to meet its budget requirements.

The 16 are both full- and part-time staff members, college officials said, and each was offered a severance package with health benefits.

The college also hired an expert in employment transitions to work with the laid off staff to help with future employment.

“The extent of the college’s regret at having to take this action cannot be adequately expressed, as the individuals affected offered, for years, their great talents and gifts to the college and its mission to educate students,” the college said in a statement on its website.

The college has a goal of enrolling 450 students for the incoming class, and has nearly reached that, according to the statement.

“But as the projected net tuition revenues for next year became more clear, so, too, did the fact that the college faces significant financial challenges in order to achieve a balanced budget for next year.”

Like other small colleges, “we will need to reduce expenses to achieve that balanced budget. Expense reductions identified by senior staff within departmental budgets were not enough to balance the college budget. The board of trustees and senior staff had to consider every option.”

David Sauerwein, the college’s vice president and dean of students, said no teachers were laid off. He said the college had to lay off workers.

“I can tell you we’re projected to have a balanced budget,” Sauerwein said.

“All small colleges are facing demographic, economic and competitive challenges right now, and we’re feeling the pressure,” he said.


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