Carroll lets 14 staff members go
Last fall school fell short of enrollment target

By Sarah Pryor - Freeman Staff

March 20, 2014

Main Hall at Carroll University. Citing a drop in enrollment,
the university has laid off 14 staff members.

Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

WAUKESHA - After falling short of its undergraduate enrollment target last fall, Carroll University is letting go of 14 staff members to try and “rebalance” its budget for the next fiscal year, said President Doug Hastad.

“While it is not easy to say goodbye to colleagues, it is a necessary step in rebalancing the budget,” Hastad said in a Monday email to faculty and staff.

On Wednesday, Hastad told The Freeman that the 14 staff positions will be eliminated effective June 30, and that two faculty positions will be eliminated in 2015. Faculty members teach classes while staff members aren’t in front of students teaching and usually work in offices like business and IT.

“Carroll has enjoyed 19 years of consecutive growth at the undergraduate level. It’s almost unprecedented that an institution like ours would flourish at the time of the recession, but we did,” Hastad said. “But this past year, we had a minor blip. Not a problem - a circumstance of business. We were down 93 students at the undergraduate and graduate level this year.”

In his email to faculty, he said that in May the university will graduate one of the largest classes in history.

“Because we are tuition-dependent, this means that going into next year (the 2015 fiscal year) we must lay the groundwork to realign our expenses/revenue projections to reach a balanced budget,” Hastad said in the email.

He told The Freeman that for the past six years, Carroll has increased its tuition about 4.75 percent per year. However, next year’s increase will only be about 3 percent.

“We made a conscious decision to understand what families go through when they pick schools. We are trying to hold it at a modest increase so students will understand we do truly comprehend the challenges of earning an undergraduate degree,” Hastad said. “Our financial aid next year for students will be $40 million. That’s part of the investment as well.”

In his email to faculty and staff, Hastad also included information about several information sessions where employees can ask questions and learn more. Two have already occurred but three more are planned for next week.

About 160 people have attended the sessions so far, said Carroll’s Director of Public Relations Jeannine Sherman.

“One thing I’ve heard at these sessions that was rewarding was to hear employees ask ‘How can I help? How can I make a difference?’” Sherman said.

What’s next for the university? Hastad said Carroll is moving forward.

“We’re also continuing to do positive things like reinvesting back into the programs of campus, moving forward with our brick and mortar projects ... This truly is a rebalancing of the operational budget,” Hastad said. “While unfortunate for folks holding positions, it’s a necessary thing to continue the fiscal integrity of an institution that’s been around for 168 years.”