FIRST ON WITN: ECU To Eliminate Up To 150 Positions, Cut $25 Million

East Carolina University Trustees say they have to cut $25 million in the university's budget in each of the next two years.

That amounts to a 7% cut and means the loss of up to 150 positions. The university says half of those positions are currently filled.

Trustees met via a telephone conference call Tuesday evening in a special meeting. The trustees talked at length about "efficiency management" of all departments at ECU.

The university says the 7% cut could increase in the coming months to a 15% reduction.

ECU Chancellor Steve Ballard says, "Class sizes are going to go up. Students are not going to get as fast service in some areas as they like. They'll have to pay some more for a few specific things, like recreation and so on--we don't know that yet, but we're trying to prioritize it so the most essential things about public education are maintained."

University spokesman John Durham says ECU has been preparing for cuts for several months now, already instituting a hiring freeze. He says they're cutting way back on travel, buying only essential items and taking a careful look at programs across board.

Durham says the university is doing everything it can to protect the core of the institution -- teaching.

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  • by Alison Location: Havelock on Mar 19, 2009 at 09:56 AM
    How about cutting back on some of the salaries that some of those people make over there for sitting behind a desk. It would help their budget a lot!
  • by pee dee Location: jacksonville on Mar 19, 2009 at 09:42 AM
    Everybody relax. Many of the job loses will come from people who retire and will not be replaced. Others will come from people who leave to work at other institutions or move to other towns. The story clearly states that "half of the 150 jobs are currently filled". This means the other half have already retired or resigned. The University will do everything possible to keep all who are currently employed.
  • by Me Location: Chocowinity on Mar 19, 2009 at 09:10 AM
    I guess anyone who is making negative comments about ECU, must be a little jealous! I think ECU is a fine opportunity for young adults.
  • by Sam Location: Williamston on Mar 19, 2009 at 08:58 AM
    WITN I posted a comment to John and Dave and was standing up for ECU, why did you not put it up there? Anyhow, John, if you call ECU one of the worst schools, then you sound like a high school dropout on drugs. I for one, have my BSA/MSA from ECU, and am on the quest to become a CPA in a few years. That education has led to this success and a six figure income. The ECU education has led my dad get into Law School and now has become a big time lawyer here in Eastern North Carolina and has covered cases as far as Charlotte and is worth millions of dollars, and not trying to brag but to prove a point. I would back off if I we're talking trash about ECU. As a proud ECU alum, I am ashamed of what this administration is doing. Do they realize how much this could hurt the economy of Greenville and Eastern North Carolina even worse when it's already rediculously bad. I pray that the job cut does not happen to my brother or sister in law, especially when they have a 1 year old.
  • by pee dee Location: jacksonville on Mar 19, 2009 at 06:06 AM
    To John: Where did you graduate from? Listing your High School does not count.
  • by The Pirate Lady Location: Grimesland on Mar 19, 2009 at 05:20 AM
    Oh, sorry Dave. I guess if the money was going towards the PSU club, it would be okay?
  • by Karen Location: Greensboro on Mar 19, 2009 at 02:00 AM
    Pirate Club Members support student athletes. Real people! My thoughts and prayers go out to all those at ECU. Been through it, no fun if you go or for those left behind. Forget about dissing the pirate club, I want to know why we can't get some of that LOTTERY MONEY, Ha Ha. Now that is silly!!
  • by ECU Guy Location: Greenville on Mar 18, 2009 at 09:18 PM
    As a grad student from ECU looking for a job, I'm deeply concerned. Despite the hiring freeze, we're expecting anywhere from 1100 - 1500 new freshmen in the fall. Who's gonna teach the stuffed classrooms if you don't hire a few adjunct faculty? We'll have to see. Oh, by the way, ECU is due so much credit that it still has yet to see. You know what I say. Fine. Those of us who go/work there know how great a university it is and its enough for us to take great pride in our school. For those who keep bashing us and ignore us, go ahead. We'll keep our self dignity thank you. Just don't forget that when you come to eastern N.C. needing us one day.
  • by employee2 Location: Greenville on Mar 18, 2009 at 06:05 PM
    Dave, John and Reality: It's really easy for you guys to make such negative comments about ECU, when your job is not potentially on the line, isn't it? As an employee, I can tell you that the majority of us on campus are worried, and it doesn't help to see your remarks. Granted, it's only 150 out of several thousand jobs, but what do you say to those people that will lose their jobs, not to mention their benefits? Do you continue to ridicule them because they chose to work for "one of the worst academic schools in the nation"? Do you continue to laugh and poke fun, when these people will be standing in unemployment lines by the end of the year? Does it make you feel good? Many of us are worrying about how we're going to pay our bills, and all you can come up with is "I love it when something negative happens to ECU"? Are you for real? Wow, you told us! I hope your job is secure and you're not in this same boat by year's end. Kudos to you! Pat yourself on the back!
  • by Concerned Citizen Location: Greenville on Mar 18, 2009 at 03:35 PM
    Its amazing that 95% of all these companies laying people off, claim to care about the employees but yet they wont take pay cuts in order to save the jobs they are about to cut. Many of the folks in the high paying positions can afford to take a pay cut but dont because all they are concerned with is continuing to collect there check. They take the easy way out and simply lay off others. There are many people in upper management who if they took a small pay cuts it would allow them to not have to layoff. The people that in most cases dont have any saving to fall back are going to be the ones that get laid off.

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