Faced with a $7.6 million budget shortfall, officials at East Stroudsburg University are not ruling out the possibility of lay-offs in the near future.
"Administration at ESU values all employees and does not take the reorganization of academic and administrative programs lightly," said Brenda Friday, ESU's university relations director.
"However, this year’s projected $7.6 million shortfall has not left the university with many alternatives and we continue to look at options that will sustain the institution for the long term while diminishing any negative impact on student learning.
"We remain optimistic that final fall enrollment will be better than projections and the budget shortfall will be smaller. "
Friday reported that ESU hopes to finalize its budget within the next few weeks.
"There is no quick fix," she said.
"Like other institutions of higher education, we must look at the long term financial drain as the number of high school graduates decreases and our own retention rates continue to be problematic, as well as deal with the costs of inflation and increases in labor and benefits costs."
Friday reported the university already has taken a number of actions to reduce the shortfall, including a 20 percent reduction in departmental operating budgets and the elimination of several vacant non-instructional positions.
Top administrators will be holding open meetings with ESU students to address their concerns and questions about the university's financial status, as well as anything else students wish to discuss.