GNTC President Craig McDaniel confirmed Monday night that “eight or possibly nine” full-time non-faculty positions would be eliminated because of a $1.1 million budgetary shortfall.
Another 15 employees will be reduced to a nine- or 10-month contract from their current 12-month contracts while a few positions soon to be vacated because of retirement will not be filled.
“This is hard thing for a college to go through,” McDaniel said. “Small businesses are doing what we’re doing and large business are doing it. It is factor of the economy.”
The shortfall is as a result of a predicted decrease in incoming tuition as a result of both state cuts to the HOPE scholarship and grant program and the college’s transition to a semester system.
“Tuition (collection) will go down,” McDaniel said. “We are very much dependent on tuition money.”
McDaniel said that the college is not ready yet to announce which positions are to be cut or reduced and on which campuses.
The college has campuses in Walker, Gordon, Floyd and Polk counties, with plans to open facilities in Whitfield, Murray and Catoosa counties.
“There are a lot of positive things that are still happening here. We are moving into Whitfield County and we are building a new Gordon County campus,” he said.
He said a few 12-month employees volunteered for the shorter 10- or nine-month contracts.
“We have built them a schedule, but not everyone can do that,” he said.
Many of the positions being reduced to shorter contracts are faculty teaching positions and administration positions.
However, McDaniel stressed that none of the full-time positions being cut are faculty positions.
He said the reduction in staff, along with about a million dollars in carry-over funds from the current school year will help make up the predicted 30 percent budget deficit.
“We will just make it through 2012,” he said. “Because of changes in HOPE, this is something we have to do. But it will not impact the quality or focus of our education.”
McDaniel said if it looks likes the drop in tuition revenue is more than predicted, the school will look into cutting programs. But that is something GNTC is trying to avoid, he stressed. He did not elaborate on which programs might be cut.
“This is belt tightening,” he said. “A lot of colleges and universities around the country have been doing it and it is reaching us.”