The board of visitors at historically Black Norfolk State University in Virginia, has voted to eliminate 97 jobs in an effort to make a dent in a projected $16.7 million deficit in the budget for the coming academic year. The 97 jobs represent about 9 percent of all paid positions at the university. Some 23 of the job cuts will involve faculty or research posts.
The university reports that enrollments are expected to decline from 6,000 to 5,100 students next year, a drop of 15 percent. Only 500 incoming first-year students are expected to enroll. Since 2012, enrollments are down by 28 percent.
Undoubtedly part of the problem is that last December the university was placed on accreditation probation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Many prospective students may shy away from a university where the accreditation is in jeopardy. The university said it has taken steps to deal with the issues identified by the accrediting agency. This December the agency will revisit the university’s accreditation.