Mar 15, 2023 | By: Justin Othoudt

BSU Announces Major Layoffs in Response to Budget Deficits

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bemidji State University saw a decrease of about 20% in student enrollment. This ultimately led to a loss of around $9 million dollars, and after numerous attempts to combat this deficit, BSU will now begin a series of layoffs.

“To address some of the changes in enrollment, we’ll be enacting layoffs,” said BSU and Northwest Technical College President Dr. John Hoffman. “23 layoffs of employees, five of whom are pre-tenured faculty members.”

Hoffman also said that other changes to come are the elimination a senior administrator position and adjustments to several other positions.

These layoffs come after several attempts at combating these deficits, including operational cuts, hiring coolings, and offering early retirement incentives to employees.

“One of the things that was done before this was called a BESI [Board Early Separation Incentive],” explained BSU Student Senate President Caleb Travis, “which is basically just a percent of your salary, and then you can retire.”

When the BESIs were offered, a totally of 19 were accepted, 17 from BSU and 2 from NTC. Additionally, these layoffs will not take full affect prior to May 23rd, as not to affect classes or commencement.

“Students come first,” said Hoffman. “That’s who we’re about and we wanna make sure our employees are able to be there to watch students walk across the stage, to see students depart for the year. It also gives them a little bit more time to consider next steps for themselves as employees.”

This coming change has been a difficult blow to staff, administration, and students alike, and the ripples of this change will surely stick with the Bemidji community for some time.

“As a student it’s really difficult to hear because you are losing people that help, not only in our classrooms but also outside of our classrooms,” said Travis.

“Nobody comes to a place with the goal of making cuts, you know, I’m here to build, and we’re gonna build,” said Hoffman, “But in the moment, these are folks that I’ve gotten to know by name and it doesn’t feel good.”

None of the 23 layoffs will include staff from NTC, although the impact of these events will most likely be felt across its campus as well.

Lakeland News is member supported content, please consider supporting Lakeland PBS today.

Support the Businesses That Support Lakeland PBS

Related News