Western New England University lays off 22 non-faculty staff

SPRINGFIELD — Western New England University laid off 22 non-faculty staff members earlier this month, part of an ongoing belt-tightening that prompted it to offer buyouts to non-faculty staffers in December.

University President Anthony S. Caprio wrote in a statement:

“With a focus on efficient operations and to assure our continued strong financial position, the University has modified its budget and reduced its workforce by 22 non-faculty positions. With over 500 regular full- and part-time non-faculty positions, the University remains focused on its top priority: to provide a high quality and affordable private university education to all current and future students.”

These 22 layoffs are the net result of the voluntary buyouts and non-voluntary layoffs, said Barbara A. Moffat, associate vice president for media and community relations. She didn’t say how many people took a voluntary separation agreement, but said some of the positions that opened up due to voluntary separations will be filled.  

Western New England University, which until 2011 was known as Western New England College, has 220 full-time faculty and had 450 full-time staff members before the restructuring, according to its website. The university also has 140 adjunct faculty members who are typically hired by the semester.

Western New England has 3,808 students, which is down from 3,955 a year ago. The number of full-time undergrads is 2,613, up from 2,575 a year ago.

The university said it entered the current academic year with the largest full-time undergraduate enrollment in its history and interest for the coming academic year is strong.

But enrollment in programs other than traditional full-time undergraduate education is off, according to a comparison of figures provided by the college. The number of law students fell this year to 282 from 360 a year ago. The number of pharmacy students went from 300 to 272. The number of part-time undergrads fell from 155 to 123. The number of graduate students and adult learners fell from 565 to 518.

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