ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) - In an effort to reduce expenses for students, Abilene Christian University has announced a budget alignment plan that will result in a decline of faculty and staff positions.
The focus of the budget is to lower ACU's overall expenses five to seven percent. This percentage drop equates to $7-8 million, which will allow ACU to keep the tuition rates affordable for students and lower the amount of student debt after graduation.
“Achieving three major objectives – lowering student debt and the cost of delivering a quality higher education, while increasing affordability – creates unavoidable tension, especially in our budget,” said ACU President Dr. Phil Schubert. “We owe it to our students to excel at all three.”
For faculty and staff, "the number of positions is in flux at this time because we are focused on reaching an overall financial target, not a specific number," according to a statement from ACU.
ACU hopes that the majority of the layoffs will be a result of a voluntary retirement incentive that is being offered to select faculty chosen from departments where student-to-faculty ratios are not in line with the university's historical practice.
As for staff positions, the majority of reductions have already occurred in the previous months or are currently in process.
ACU states other reasons for the budget change is because of trends such as more students arriving with dual-credit courses leading to less needing traditional college credit hours. Also, adapting to the trend changes in the demographics.
Abilene Christian University, statement:
'"Although we need to reduce our expenses, we know it’s important to continue investing in the future. We continue looking around the curve to see what ACU can do to be successful. We are committed to be a university that provides excellent teaching; we are committed to our Christian mission."
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