ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Hardin-Simmons University President Eric Bruntmyer penned a letter to alumni Friday afternoon revealing that staffing cuts will be made in certain university programs.
In the letter, Bruntmyer cited financial concerns to be the reason behind the cuts. With the help of presidents and deans, Bruntmyer will soon begin considerations of what programs will be affected.
When asked for specifics on the cuts, HSU declined to comment.
Dear HSU Alumni,The last month has been a wonderful time at Hardin-Simmons as we have welcomed our students back to campus, celebrated our alumni, dedicated new facilities and opened new housing for our students.While it is a joy to be president of HSU during good times, being president also requires me to make difficult decisions.Since coming to HSU, I have diligently worked alongside our administration to wisely steward our time and resources to improve the financial condition of the university. We have focused on growing enrollment, improving our marketing, providing new facilities, adding new academic programs, increasing scholarships for students, and raising new funds for the institution. All of this has been done to strengthen the university so that we can provide excellence in education enlightened by Christian faith and values.Along the way, we have been monitoring our financial situation, analyzing the higher education market and sharing this information with faculty and staff. We have worked to be as transparent as possible with all our employees.As I have shared with faculty and staff in multiple town hall meetings over the past two years, I believe we are heading in the right direction with our enrollment growth in some areas; unfortunately, we continue to see contraction in some other programs on campus.As a result, we must move forward with a more strategic operational practice, and difficult decisions will need to be made in regard to current programs that may need to be phased out. Further, since higher education is a service industry, and the largest expense is typically payroll and benefits, these decisions will directly affect some of our current employees.The Board of Trustees have authorized me, with the help of our vice presidents and deans, to begin the process of determining which programs may be affected and personnel who may be asked to transition out of HSU.In the next few weeks there will be multiple meetings throughout campus where decisions will be made to honor the need for strategic stewardship of the resources in which we have been entrusted. It is my hope and goal that decisions will be made and communicated to the campus prior to November 1.When I notified our campus community last week about these changes, I explained that the coming changes are not a reflection on any individual it will affect. I believe that I work with great people, each made in the image of God, and that what happens to them matters eternally. It is our plan to walk alongside every employee who is asked to transition out of HSU to help them quickly find a new place of service.Since notifying our campus community of these changes last week, I have worked to be in direct, personal communication with local leaders at the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, ACU, McMurry, Hendrick, First Financial Bank, AISD, and many of the other large employers in our community to let them know that there would be HSU employees looking to transition into some of their institutions. Each community leader told me they look forward to considering our transitioning faculty and staff as applicants for their open positions. Every leader expressed understanding about the difficulty of the process and was interested to hear from our transitioning employees. As some of you may be business owners and employers in our community, I would ask the same of you. Please be willing to consider our transitioning employees for your open positions.I have also contacted local pastors, to let them know that some of our HSU employees will need their attention and care during this difficult time. Again, if you are a pastor, or a counselor, please know that some of our employees may seek your assistance as they transition out of HSU. Please help us to provide the comfort and care they will need.Finally, as HSU alumni, I ask that you pray for Hardin-Simmons University and our employees during this time.Eric