Erskine College and Theological Seminary President Paul Kooistra announced several program and personnel reductions in a letter addressed to students, faculty and staff on Tuesday.
The reductions, scheduled to take effect in the 2015-16 fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015, are part of a plan aimed at getting the institution back on a firm and sustainable financial footing.
Approved by the Erskine board of trustees on Aug. 15, the new reductions are expected to save the institution about $875,000.
At the seminary, three of the 12 full-time faculty positions will be eliminated, with the remaining faculty taking a 25-percent reduction in salary. This reduction comes on top of a 5-percent institution-wide reduction that took effect after the Aug. 15 decision.
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In his letter, Kooistra stated the seminary expects an increase in revenue next year through expanded programs and tuition.
Cliff Smith, Erskine vice president for Communications, said Wednesday the new seminary programs and expansions are still in the process of being decided, but would be taught by remaining seminary faculty.
At the college, three professors voluntarily announced intended separations from Erskine at the end of the current fiscal year.
Other savings will come from several salary reductions because of sabbaticals and load reductions.
Additionally, the department of Modern Languages, which houses a French and a Spanish major, as well as several minors will be eliminated. Because these programs have very low enrollment, Smith said the college would be able to work with involved students on a case by case basis. The department's three full-time faculty positions also will be removed.
Institution administrators, including Kooistra, and the athletic department also will bear some of the financial burden, with administrators receiving an additional 3-percent salary cut while the athletic budget will be reduced by $75,000.
Other reductions that took place in August include cuts in retirement benefits and a 2-percent tuition increase amounting to about $830 to be assessed mid-year.
Smith stressed these reductions serve to protect the integrity of its academics. He said Erskine remains fully accredited, albeit with sanctions, and is awaiting accreditation reaffirmation to be decided this month by the South Carolina Association of Colleges and Schools.