Dear Fellow Faculty and Staff,
The past several weeks have been challenging for our university. As we have navigated the process of reducing personnel across our four campuses, each of us has experienced pain and a sense of personal loss because of the rich relationships we share with one another at WKU. It is precisely because of the close-knit community we enjoy here that this was so difficult.
Those employees directly affected by the elimination of positions have been notified and have received information from Human Resources to address important questions related to pay and benefits. We will continue our work to provide them the support necessary as they transition to other opportunities. These were not easy conversations, and I am thankful for the professionalism of everyone involved.
Our initial budget reduction estimates indicated that as many as 100 filled positions could be lost. However, as division leaders worked through their reduction targets and conducted a position-by-position review, the actual number of filled full-time positions eliminated is 62 out of more than 2,100 full-time university employees. We also eliminated 57 vacant positions across the institution. This document lists the specific positions eliminated by department.
These strategic reductions reflect that WKU is a smaller institution than we were five to ten years ago. While difficult, these decisions were necessary to move us toward a more stable institutional budget that matches the revenues we generate each year. Unfortunately, our work in this area will continue once the Kentucky General Assembly completes their work. Decisions regarding our state appropriation and pension obligations will have further budgetary implications for us. The steps we take now will allow us to restructure operations to meet our immediate needs and are designed to ensure future budgets are more stable, predictable and support our core missions.
In the face of adversity we must continue to reimagine and redefine our institution as we move forward together. As part of our strategic planning process, we will think creatively about our organizational arrangements and investments; we will support efforts to recruit, retain and graduate students; we will define how an applied research university creates knowledge that elevates our region; we will demonstrate how the WKU experience differentiates us in the marketplace; and we will position ourselves for the next decade of successes.
It is my privilege to work alongside each of you, and I appreciate your continued commitment and dedication to our university.
Timothy C. Caboni