Coppin State suffers $2.5 million shortfall

Coppin State University suffered a $2.5 million revenue shortfall this fall because of a drop in enrollment, and school officials said Tuesday that the deficit is being offset with cuts to the administration and other cost-saving measures rather than tuition increases.

Coppin State spokeswoman Tiffany Jones said Tuesday that the school enrolled 3,133 students this fall, 250 less than a year ago. Tuition, plus fees, for in-state students is about $6,000.

To offset part of the shortfall, a school vice president and an assistant vice president have been let go, Jones said. Another assistant vice president has assumed the duties of the vice president.

Jones said Coppin State faculty was not affected by the deficit.

"We've also implemented cost-saving measures. When all cost-saving measures have been realized, they will have made up the $2.5 million shortfall," Jones said. "We have not passed that deficit on to our students. There are no conversations on the table to have student tuition impacted."

Rodrick Johnson, Coppin State's Student Government Association president, said students were informed of the moves during a town hall meeting in September.

Jones said another vice president has left the school because of a family emergency and the position has been filled temporarily at a lower salary by a former employee that has come out of retirement.

Jones said the school also has eliminated frozen positions and vacant positions, and has scaled back expenditures.

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County, the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Salisbury University and Bowie State University, other University System of Maryland institutions that provided their fall enrollment numbers Tuesday, saw increases. Towson University saw an enrollment drop of about 1 percent.

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