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NJCU announces academic program cuts, faculty layoffs

Matthew Fazelpoor//December 16, 2022

NJCU announces academic program cuts, faculty layoffs

Matthew Fazelpoor//December 16, 2022

As New Jersey City University continues to work itself out of a sizeable budget deficit, the school will make a significant reduction to its academic portfolio along with corresponding faculty cuts.

The overhaul, announced Dec. 15, will include the sunsetting of undergraduate majors and minors and graduate, certificate and doctoral programs, as the Division of Academic Affairs reduces its academic portfolio by 37%.

To accomplish that, NJCU says it is discontinuing 48 undergraduate programs, 24 minors, 28 graduate programs, 10 certificate programs and one doctoral program.

A full rundown of the impacted programs is available here.

The move is the latest in a series of actions taken by NJCU – which entered Fiscal Year 2023 with a deficit of more than $20 million, triggering a State Comptroller investigation – to reach budget neutrality by June 30, 2023. Previous measures, which NJBIZ has reported, included a 41% reduction in the university’s management-level workforce, a reorganization of the senior administration and leadership, and the elimination of five athletic sports programs.

New Jersey City University
In more cost-cutting moves, New Jersey City University is discontinuing 48 undergraduate programs, 24 minors, 28 graduate programs, 10 certificate programs and one doctoral program. – NJCU

In a press release, NJCU Board of Trustees Chair Joseph Scott described the Thursday announcement as a difficult but necessary next step toward long-term sustainability.

“Our current financial crisis has made clear that the breadth of our current academic portfolio is no longer tenable for the size of an institution we need to be and the low enrollment in many courses can be linked to students’ inability to complete their degrees in a timely manner,” said Scott.

NJCU says the academic deans of each of its four colleges, in collaboration with the acting provost, worked to identify which programs to reduce, while balancing NJCU’s role as a minority serving institution with the viability of programs according to its mission, market and margins.

“I thank our academic leadership for their data-driven, painstaking work in determining which programs were mission critical and mission consistent, so our remaining resources can be allocated toward ensuring the strength of these academic offerings,” said Scott.

According to the university, the measures were necessary because after its previous actions, NJCU still had a $12.67 million deficit.

And although the savings from these cuts will not be realized until FY 2024, the school believes these rightsizing steps put it on the right track to get beyond the current fiscal emergency — with projected future annual savings of at least $5 million.

The reduction of these programs will also mean that up to 30 tenured faculty will receive notice that their position may be eliminated as of June 28, 2023. In addition, NJCU will not renew the contracts of up to 19 non-tenured, annually appointed faculty as well as some professional staff for the 2023-24 academic year.

The university stressed that current students enrolled in impacted programs will be able to complete them and graduate without any obstacles and will likely to be able to find similar available programs to any of the impacted ones.

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