Tarleton is forced to lay off employees amid the pandemic

Nicholas Ratcliff

Multimedia Journalist

Tarleton State University has recently laid off 34 employees due to budget cuts that are a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. This action comes straight from Greg Abbott, the Texas governor, who has requested all public Texas Universities to reduce their budget by a total of 10% over the next fall and spring terms.

Tarleton’s total budget for salaries is $71,369,836. The total cost of employing the 34 staff and faculty members that were let go equals $1,818,872 which means Tarleton has only freed up 2.54% of the budget and still needs to clear another 2.4% of the budget during the fall semester.

In an email that was sent out to the faculty and staff of Tarleton, Dr. James Hurley stated that “The budget shortfall was simply too much to overcome without reducing operating budgets and cutting our workforce by 34 positions. These positions and/or employees have been assessed and approved according to Texas A&M University System standards and policies.”

Tarleton has offered to continue to pay and provide benefits for the employees that were laid off until August 31.

Students around the State are still deciding if they want to go back to school in the fall and this uncertainty is also influencing Tarleton.

According to Dr. Hurley, another reason for the budget cuts is the unpredictable enrollment numbers for the fall.

He said, “I want to reiterate the considerable uncertainty that still exists relative to what our enrollments will be this fall, and thus, what our total revenue and expenses will be, resulting in a potential budget revision process. As all of you know and understand, we are primarily a tuition-dependent institution.”

Texan News attempted to contact all 34 employees who were let go but Tarleton has made this difficult by disabling the laid off faculty’s emails already and many declined to comment about being laid off over Facebook messenger.

Dr. Hurley had this to say about the employees who were let go, “This has been a very difficult and disappointing reality for all of us. We strived to preserve and protect as many jobs as possible, and we are saddened by the loss of each valued Texan family member. To those who will leave us, I am truly sorry. We are sincerely grateful for your time with us and for everything you have given to our university during your time here.”

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