NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The governing board for Delgado Community College in New Orleans and Nunez Community College in Chalmette approved plans Wednesday that will result in layoffs at both schools and the cutting of 15 academic programs at Delgado.
The Louisiana Technical and Community College System, at its regular board meeting in Baton Rouge, signed off on plans to lay off 115 employees at Delgado, including 64 faculty members, and up to 15 people at Nunez.
Delgado's layoffs are effective June 3.
"Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with each employee impacted," said Delgado Chancellor Monty Sullivan, in a letter to faculty and staff. "We have taken every step to be as fair as possible ... in particular extending benefits to those employees as far out as possible."
Sullivan said the pending layoffs are the second to affect the college in the past eight months. In February, 46 administrative and staff positions were eliminated saving about $3 million, he said. But, the college still faced a budget deficit of about $8 million.
"We have made the difficult decision to use $8 million of the college's $10 million reserves to close the books for FY 2013," Sullivan wrote. "With this step, the college faces a structural deficit going into FY 2014 that requires immediate action."
The board approved the layoffs as well as continuing a freeze on non-essential travel, hiring and expenditures, reducing the athletics budget and moving to a four-day operational schedule for the summer to reduce energy costs.
Those moves will cut $5 million in costs annually, he said. "Combined, the February position eliminations and the proposed eliminations will save the college about $8 million annually," he said. "While the final FY 2014 budget is still being developed ... these steps will align the college's budget in FY 2014 and hopefully stabilize the budget going forward."
Sullivan said the board also approved eliminating 15 academic programs. Details on which programs were affected were not released. Delgado spokesman Tony Cook described the affected programs as "less productive programs," according to WVUE-TV (http://bit.ly/13zJCaw ).
"We cut programs that have low completion rates and that weren't leading to good-paying jobs for our students," said Quintin Taylor, a spokesman for LCTCS.
Teresa Smith, executive director of Institutional Advancement at Nunez, said no programs will be eliminated at Nunez. The contracts of two faculty members, however, end with the close of the spring semester, May 22, while the other staff positions end June 30, she said.
"This action is because of all of the budget cuts we've absorbed over the last six years," Smith said. "We held off workforce reduction for as long as we could by depleting carryover accounts but, unfortunately, it became necessary to look at a reduction in the workforce."