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Amy Dalrymple, Forum News Service, Published December 04 2010

Concordia College shifts staffing, focus

Budget reallocations at Concordia College will mean cutting 17 positions, but some new jobs will be added as the college reinvests in other areas, the college’s provost said Friday.

Mark Krejci said the college will cut from some areas over the next year so additional resources can be directed toward areas identified as priorities.

Concordia plans to enhance student advising, provide more undergraduate research opportunities and make study abroad opportunities more affordable, Krejci said.

“We want to invest in the things that will make the biggest impact on student learning,” Krejci said.

The equivalent of 17 full-time positions will be cut over the next year, and many of the cuts will be through attrition, he said.

No academic departments or majors will be cut, Krejci said. The faculty-to-student ratio of 13 to 1 will not change, he said.

Krejci did not provide a breakdown of what areas the cuts will come from because he said he’s not sure if everyone has been notified.

The cuts represent less than 2 percent of Concordia’s employee base, he said.

Under the leadership of the late President Pam Jolicoeur, the college began campuswide conversations on priorities.

“The big dig against higher education is we keep adding, adding, adding, but we never take anything away,” Krejci said.

The reallocation process will allow Concordia to invest in new areas without funding it with significant tuition increases, he said.

“Students appreciate that we just don’t increase tuition to pay for everything around this place,” Krejci said. “We work hard to maintain our affordability.”

Erik George, Concordia’s student body president, said student leaders were involved in making decisions about the cuts.

“The college has made it clear students will not be directly affected by these reductions,” George said. “While every reduction is unfortunate, the administration has worked to ensure the integrity and functioning of the college will not be harmed.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Amy Dalrymple at (701) 241-5590