William Paterson University of New Jersey could cut up to 26 percent of its full-time faculty positions in the face of a $20 million deficit for the upcoming 2021-22 academic year, according to a faculty union leader.
The public university is weighing the elimination of 60 to 100 faculty positions and 10 academic programs, NJ.com reported. Its faculty union is negotiating to avoid layoffs, but the union president, Sue Tardi, said administrators have yet to share which academic programs would be cut.
Administrators at the university are facing a budget deficit as the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbates pre-existing enrollment challenges, said Stuart Goldstein, William Paterson’s vice president for marketing and public relations, according to NJ.com. University leaders have been “transparent with the campus community in discussing that layoffs would sadly be unavoidable,” he said.
William Paterson enrolled about 10,000 students in the fall of 2019. It enrolls a large number of students of color — 33 percent of its student body identifies as Hispanic or Latinx, 19 percent as Black or African American, 7 percent as Asian and 35 percent as white, according to federal data.