The University of Baltimore laid off 14 employees and eliminated 12 vacant positions late last week amid a decline in enrollment, officials said Monday.
Total enrollment in the fall of 2015 slipped 3 percent to 6,229, after a 1.5 percent decline the year before and a 0.6 percent decline in fall 2013. University officials said some of the decline is driven by a decrease in law school applications, a national trend for several years.
"In addition to identifying and implementing operating efficiencies in all administrative and academic units, University leadership had to consider personnel costs to effectively manage this reduction," university officials said in a statement. "Although these difficult decisions were necessary, we regret the impact they have had on valued employees and on the UB community. These actions, in addition to strategic organizational realignment, position the University of Baltimore for continued financial stability and targeted growth in the coming years."
Some students are opposed to the layoffs, which they say included staff who run programs for students. An online petition calling on administrators to find other methods of balancing the budget, such as by cutting administrator salaries or holding off on constructing new buildings, had 62 signatures by Monday afternoon.
"The entire student body is really upset," said Jordan Borkoski, a junior majoring in environmental sustainability. "We think there are much more effective ways going about the budget cuts. We're serious about this and it's not acceptable."
The layoffs and other budget cuts made by the university saved $3.9 million, UB spokesman Chris Hart said. About $851,000 of the cuts came from the salaries of the laid off employees, he said. Most of the jobs that were cut did not involve staff who interact regularly with students.